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Frequently Asked Questions

Records

Academic Record:

Yes, a student is generally entitled to view and obtain copies of her/his academic record through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The process for obtaining records can be found at the following website: http://registrar.utah.edu/handbook/ferpa.php. (Last reviewed on Dec. 14, 2011)

Auditor/Inspector Requests:

Be polite and helpful. Let the individual know that you want to assist them in their task but that you need to verify information and alert appropriate University personnel to provide assistance. Involve your supervisor in efforts to assist the individual. Verify the individual's identification, and attempt to determine exactly what records or information the individual is seeking. Ask the individual to wait until appropriate University personnel can arrive to assist. For assistance, call the Healthcare Billing Compliance Office at (801) 339-8092 or Hospital Risk Management. (Last reviewed on Dec. 1, 2011)

Employment Record:

Yes, an employee is generally entitled to view and obtain copies of her/his personnel file. Please contact your supervisor or Human Resources at (801) 581-2169. For employees of University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, please contact Human Resources at (801) 581-6500, located in Room 5A224 of the School of Medicine building. (Last reviewed on Dec. 14, 2011)

GRAMA:

The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) is Utah's open records law and the state equivalent of the federal Freedom of Information Act, also known as FOIA. Through GRAMA, the public may request access to certain physical or electronic records maintained by the University.

University records are presumed to be "public" unless the University determines the records can be classified under GRAMA as "private," "protected," or "controlled."

Common examples of non-public information include:

  1. Information relating to an individual such as health information, academic records, and certain employee information (e.g. home contact information, performance evaluations, social security number, and payroll deductions);
  2. Records relating to ongoing investigations, litigation, disciplinary actions, and procurement proceedings;
  3. Trade secrets, patents, copyrighted material, and other proprietary information of the University or provided to the University by a third-party that has claimed that such records are confidential; and
  4. Unpublished lecture notes, manuscripts, research data and information, as well as creative works in process and scholarly correspondence.

Further, if the records requested may be subject to other state or federal laws such as FERPA (federal law governing student records) or HIPAA, GRAMA generally defers to such laws. (Last reviewed on Dec. 1, 2011)

Law Enforcement Requests:

Verify the officer's identification and attempt to determine exactly what records or information the officer is seeking. Contact Hospital Risk Management at 801-581-2031 and/or the HIPAA Privacy Office at 801-587-9241. If the officer has a warrant or a release signed by the patient or patient representative, ask the officer to wait until you can have the document(s) reviewed by Hospital Risk Management, the HIPAA Privacy Office, or the Office of General Counsel. If the officer refuses to wait, accompany the officer and document all material that is accessed or removed. If you work within University Health Care and the matter is an off-hours emergency, you can contact the hospital administrator who is on call. (Last reviewed on Dec. 1, 2011)

Lawsuit Acceptance:

The only authorized agent for service of legal process (such as a summons and complaint) for the University of Utah and the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics is the President of the University. No one else should accept service on behalf of the University or UUHC.

If you have been named individually in a lawsuit as a defendant, you can accept service on your own behalf. If such a lawsuit involves the University or UUHC in any way, please transmit a copy of the document(s) to the Office of General Counsel immediately. (Last reviewed on Dec. 14, 2011)

Record Retention:

University Archives and Records Management (801-581-8242) can assist with general questions about record keeping. Routine University retention and destruction practices should be followed unless a litigation hold applies to the records in question. For questions regarding retention of medical records, please call the Health Information Department within University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. If a litigation hold is in place, you will be notified of the hold and receive instructions from the Office of General Counsel. (Last reviewed on Dec. 1, 2011)

Subpoenas:

Subpoenas seeking access to medical records of University of Utah Health Care patients should be forwarded to the Health Information Department, located within University Hospital. All other subpoenas should be forwarded to the Office of General Counsel. Subpoenas impose deadlines for compliance and so it is important to get subpoenas to the appropriate University office as soon as possible. (Last reviewed on Dec. 1, 2011)