Your health record
Your confidential health record contains all the information you have provided to Cornell Health, plus documentation of any care you receive from us.
Examples of documentation found in your health record include:
- your completed Health History Form
- your immunization history
- any appointment or treatment you’ve had at Cornell Health
- lab and x-ray reports
- electronic communication between you and any Cornell Health provider
- documentation of phone consultations
- copies of referrals you may have received
- consult reports (a summary of your visit with the clinician you were referred to)
- any documents received from other clinics (i.e., previous health records)
- any release of information form(s) you have signed
(see “How can I access my health record?” below)
The privacy and confidentiality of your health record is protected by law. Health records are maintained through a secure electronic health records (EHR) system, and are completely separate from all other university records. We will never release any of your information without your written permission, except in specific situations to protect you or others, or to comply with law. Refer to our Confidentiality & Patient Rights page for complete details.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are health records kept?
- Students: 7 years after your last date as a registered student
- Faculty and staff: For the entirety of your employment at Cornell; once you’re no longer employed, 7 years after the date of your last visit
- Other patients: 7 years after the date of your last visit
- Occupational medicine patients: 30 years after your last day of employment with Cornell
How can I access my health record or immunization history?
You can view the majority of your health record by logging in to myCornellHealth and clicking “Health Records.” Please see the question about “Protected Health Information (PHI)” below for information about accessing your entire health record.
To access your immunization history, click “Immunizations” in the left-hand menu bar. There is a “print” option on the top right on that page. If you need an official copy of your immunization record, please follow the instructions under "How do I request or share official copies of my health record / immunization history?" below.
Who else can view my health record?
Cornell Health providers refer to relevant information in your health record only as needed to facilitate integrated care for you. Each year, every Cornell Health staff member and volunteer must sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure the privacy of patient / client information. Regular audits of the EHR provide an extra measure of protection.
How do I request or share official copies of my health record / immunization history?
By law, requests for health records and for the release of health information must be made in writing. Please complete our Authorization for Release of Health Records (pdf). When you have completed the release, you can:
- Turn it in to Cornell Health’s Health Records Department
- Fax it to 607-255-0269
- Mail it to:
ATTN: Health Records Department
110 Ho Plaza
Ithaca , NY 14853-3101
Please do not email it to us (email is not a secure means of communications).
If you believe it would be helpful for your medical clinician, counselor, or psychiatrist to talk with someone else about your health concerns or treatment, please discuss it with them. Together you can decide what should be shared with whom and during what time frame. We will need your signed permission using the Authorization for Release of Health Records form, above.
Do I have to pay for copies of my health record to be released?
- Copies of records sent directly to another health care provider for treatment are sent free of charge.
- Copies of immunizations are generally provided free of charge (always free of charge when accessed through myCornellHealth).
- If you want copies of health records for other reasons, the charge is 75 cents per page.
How long will it take to receive copies of my health record?
Records will be mailed or ready for pick up as soon as possible, usually within 5 to 10 business days.
Can health records be faxed?
For your protection, it is our policy to fax health records only when they are needed for a patient care encounter and will not arrive in time for the visit if mailed.
How may I request to see or amend the Protected Health Information (PHI) in my health record, or request changes to how my PHI is communicated or disclosed?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) gives you the right to make the following requests regarding the Protected Health Information (PHI) in your health record:
May I request that all of my health information generated in the future be released to my parents until I graduate?
Unfortunately, federal law prohibits us from fulfilling “blanket authorization” requests for the release of health information, per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Instead, we work with students and their families to establish that, whenever personal health information is shared, the corresponding Authorization for Release of Health Records (pdf) describes that information in a specific and meaningful fashion (e.g., reflecting a specific date, test performed, etc.).
One important exception: Students with pre-existing chronic health conditions MAY authorize that any health information directly related specifically to that diagnosis/condition be released to a parent, a home health care provider, etc. To learn more about this policy, please contact Cornell Health’s Privacy Officer at 607-255-7896.
How do I appoint a Health Care Proxy?
As of age 18, you have the right to make independent decisions about your health care and access to your health records. You may also appoint a health care proxy to make health care decisions for you if you become unable, even temporarily, to make health care decisions for yourself. Having someone you trust in this role can be critical in certain emergency situations.
Review this information from the New York State Department of Health about who can be a health care proxy and how to choose your agent: Health Care Proxy: Appointing Your Health Care Agent in New York State (pdf). Versions of this document are available in a variety of languages on the NYS Department of Health website.
To designate a health care proxy, complete and submit copies of the Health Care Proxy form to both your chosen proxy and your primary health care provider.
To have your health care proxy form on record with Cornell Health:
- Add your name and Cornell student ID number to your form
- Provide it to us ...
- In person: drop it off at a reception desk at Cornell Health
- By mail: send to Health Records, Cornell Health, 110 Ho Plaza, Ithaca, NY 14853-3101
- By fax: send to Cornell Health Records, 607-255-0269
- By myCornellHealth: login in and click "Messages & File Uploads"
Health Records department
Our Health Records department maintains patient / clients’ health information through a secure electronic health records (EHR) system. Health Records staff are responsible for understanding and complying with the strict regulations that guide how records are organized and used, and make sure these files are complete, confidential, and accessible to you. The privacy and confidentiality of your records is protected by law.
The Health Records department also ensures that all Cornell students comply with federal and state health requirements before they matriculate, or as new requirements are imposed.