Privacy and Confidentiality

Mount Sinai treats patients of the Student and Trainee Mental Health Program with the same level of confidentiality required for all patients by New York State law. Confidentiality is strictly and carefully protected by HIPAA laws and the ethics of the clinician/patient relationship. We do not release any personal medical/psychiatric information to anyone without clear and written consent from the student/trainee. The only instance in which confidentiality can be broken is if we believe you to be a danger to yourself or to someone else.

Epic Student Electronic Medical Records Privacy Protocol

At The Mount Sinai Hospital, we maintain all medical records electronically using the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) platform. All students and trainees have special protection on their Epic health care records. This means that any access to your EMR is recorded, and an automatic, random audit of all charts in the system is conducted every three to four weeks. While this process is random, you can contact the Epic maintenance office to request a full audit of your chart at any time, should you suspect inappropriate access.  

In addition, we keep notes documented by our program’s clinicians in the EMR behind an additional firewall that shields them from being read by those outside the department.

We also equip all student EMR charts with an alert system. This system sends an automatic red flag by email to those who monitor and maintain Epic records at Mount Sinai whenever one student accesses another student's EMR. It lends a much higher degree of security for students' health care information, as a red-flag email triggers a manual audit of that student's chart. There will be full transparency and accountability any time a student reviews another student's chart. Inappropriate access will result in severe penalties, up to and including expulsion.

You should also be aware of these other rules:

  • It is a HIPAA violation for students to review EMR of family members.
  • It is a violation of New York State law for students to review their own children's EMR if their child is over 10 years of age.
  • Children and family members of Icahn School of Medicine students who receive health care at Mount Sinai can request to have special protection extended to their charts.
  • Students can contact the Epic maintenance office to ask questions or express concerns regarding EMR privacy at the following extensions: 4-4669 and 4-5146.

In the near future, this alert system will also be in place any time a faculty member at Mount Sinai accesses a student's chart. While the reason may be appropriate (e.g., for care received by a student from a physician at the hospital), we will perform an internal audit of the student's chart to make sure nothing concerning has occurred.