Patient Rights and Expectations
The NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is committed to providing you with competent services that respect your rights and promote optimal progress toward accomplishment of your therapeutic goals. It is the policy of the Northern Illinois University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic to treat all clients and not to discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or disability.
- All information concerning your care is confidential and released only through procedures consistent with the law and professional ethics. You have a right to be informed of any limits on confidentiality consistent with the law and professional ethics. Your records can be subpoenaed by the courts without your permission.
- You have the right to review and approve any information being requested by another provider giving services to you. You must sign a written release of information before any such information can be released or exchanged.
- The NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic cannot use your image or ask for an endorsement without your written consent.
- You have the right to refuse to release information. You have the right to have the consequences of this decision explained to you.
There are exceptions to the confidentiality laws which include:
- Duty to warn and protect: When a client discloses intentions or a plan to harm another person, the clinician is required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities. In cases where the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide, the clinician is required to notify legal authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify the family of the client.
- Abuse of children and vulnerable adults: If a client states that he or she is a) abusing a child or vulnerable adult, b) has recently abused a child or vulnerable adult, or c) a child or vulnerable adult in danger of abuse, the clinician is required to report this information to the appropriate legal authorities. This includes prenatal exposure to controlled substances which is considered child abuse.
- Court orders: Clinicians are required to release records of clients when a court order has been placed. If your records are requested by the courts, it is the policy of the NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic to notify the client of the subpoena before any records are released.
- Minors/Guardianship: Parents and legal guardians have the right to access the client's record for non-emancipated minor clients.
- You have the right to review and, if you wish, copy those materials in your case record that pertain to the services you have received at the NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.
- You have the right to insert into your case record written statement(s) about your treatment issues or about the services you are receiving or wish to receive from the clinic. You will also be informed of any written responses to your statement(s) that may be included in your case record.
- You have the right to have services provided to you according to an individualized treatment or service plan developed with your input.
- You have a right to have your treatment or service plan reviewed periodically, but at least every six months.
- You have a right to participate with your service provider and other staff at any meeting in which your service plan is reviewed.
- You have the right to informed consent with regard to all aspects of services provided by the NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.
- You have the right to refuse services and to be informed of any consequences related to service delivery should you refuse services.
- You have the right to refuse to participate in or be interviewed for any research studies/projects.
- You have the right to terminate services at any time.
As a training facility, the NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic regularly makes audio and/or video recordings of diagnostic and treatment sessions. You will be asked to sign a separate consent for recording. Tapes are used by your clinician/team and his or her supervisor in an effort to foster the development of clinical skills and ensure that optimum care is given to each client. Tapes are stored in locked areas. Only clinicians and their supervisors have access to them. The tapes will not be shown to classes or to professional meetings without your specific written permission.
Faculty members and students frequently observe sessions as part of the educational program of the department. All information obtained from clinic sessions, however, is strictly confidential. With prior client approval, some sessions are video recorded as a useful educational tool for students and faculty. Clients should feel free to speak with a clinician or faculty member regarding observers and confidentiality.
It is important to realize that there may be both benefits and risks to receiving treatment. Benefits include improvement or amelioration of an existing communicative disorder and/or problem that you are seeking help for. You may experience better hearing, speech, language or emotional health as a consequence of receiving treatment. This may improve your communication with family members and other significant people in your life.
The greatest risk to receiving treatment is that it may not be possible to resolve your complaint successfully. Some people experience heightened frustration, anger, loneliness, or helplessness while addressing a communicative disorder.
Your clinician is committed to helping you. If he or she cannot help you, you may be referred to another professional or program. If your clinician feels you are no longer benefiting from services, he or she will discuss options with you. Please discuss any concerns you have about the risks of treatment with your clinician.