Skip to main content

As a student health patient, you have rights such as privacy and confidentiality, courtesy, clear information about your treatment and participating in decisions about your care. You also have the responsibility to partner with us and participate in planning and carrying out your care.


You have the right to courteous treatment. It is your right to:

  • Be treated with dignity and respect, free from verbal, physical and psychological abuse or harassment. The care you receive will not be biased by your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, financial status, disability, source of payment or type of illness.
  • Ask staff to introduce themselves and explain their role in your care.
  • Have your personal values, beliefs and culture respected, and the care you receive to be centered around your individual needs.

You have the right to privacy and security. Your privacy is an important part of your care. It is your right to:

  • Receive private and comfortable surroundings for examinations and discussions with physicians and staff.
  • Have privacy and security regarding your personal, written, phone and electronic communications while a patient.

You have the right to confidentiality of all personal, medical and financial information. We are committed to protecting your privacy. Your information will be used to:

  • Carry out your treatment
  • Obtain payment for the services you receive
  • Conduct our internal operations, such as quality improvement
  • Fulfill purposes as required by law

For complete information on how your information is used and your right to control and access that information, review Sanford's notice of privacy practices.

You have the right to participate in decisions about your care. We value the partnership between patients and caregivers. We want you to play an active role in your own health care, and we respect your right to:

  • Have a full explanation of your health status, along with alternative treatments and the risks and benefits of each so that you may provide informed consent to the treatment you choose.
  • Choose a course of treatment or refuse a diagnostic procedure or treatment
  • Receive an appropriate response to reports of pain
  • Review all health care records relating to your care
  • Choose your health care provider
  • Decide whether or not to participate in experimental research
  • Have an advance directive and have your health care providers honor it
  • Have a surrogate decision-maker if you are incapable of understanding or communicating

You also have the right to:

  • Know any continuing care requirements
  • Not be transferred to another facility or service without an explanation of the need for the transfer
  • Be informed of the charge for services and the extent to which it will be paid by third-party payers
  • Be involved in resolving conflicts about care decisions
  • Be informed of the method for filing complaints about the quality of care or violation of rights
  • Have complaints heard and resolved in a timely manner, and to be informed of the appeal process
  • Be informed of the services, practitioners and providers available to you
  • Be informed of your rights and responsibilities
  • Be cared for in a safe setting
  • Know the name and address of the state or county agency to contact for additional information or assistance

These rights also apply to minors or those who are incapable of exercising their own rights, with parents or legal guardians assuming responsibility.


As a patient, it is your responsibility to:

  • Respect the privacy of others
  • Provide us with honest information about your health history
  • Let us know if you do not fully understand the plan of care or any instructions given to you
  • Inform us of any unexpected changes in your condition or any pain-related issues you may be experiencing
  • Keep your appointments, or give adequate notice if you must cancel
  • Follow policies that may affect care and conduct
  • Know the name and purpose of your medications
  • Provide us with a copy of your advance directive
  • Fulfill your financial responsibility

We will provide you with as much information as you need to make informed decisions about your health care. You are responsible for your actions if you refuse treatment or choose not to follow appropriate instructions.


If you have questions about the quality of your care when using our services, please call 605-328-6960 or contact the following agency:

South Dakota Department of Health
600 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, South Dakota 57501-2536