On occasion, prospective health care students request to "shadow" a professional from the University of Kansas Medical Center in a clinical setting, the University of Kansas Hospital, KU HealthPartners, Inc., or the University of Kansas Physicians (collectively "KUMC"). Clinical shadowing activities can be an important avenue to support the KUMC mission of recruiting future health care professionals. Because the clinical shadowing experience involves exposure to individual health information or contact with patients, the HIPAA Privacy Rule and other institutional requirements apply. Documentation of training and forms for students who shadow must be retained for a period of six years by the department sponsoring the student's shadow experience.

If the clinical shadowing request comes from a student who is not currently enrolled at KUMC (e.g., high school students, KU-Lawrence student, other college students, family members who are students), the following requirements must be met:    

  • An individual wanting to shadow must be at least sixteen (16) years of age.
  • KUMC does not arrange shadowing experiences. The shadowing student is responsible for identifying and contacting a sponsor who must be willing to "sponsor" the student. The sponsoring provider is responsible for the student and must supervise the student during the entire shadowing experience.
  • The shadow experience is meant for observation only, it may not include any other type of interaction with patients, and it cannot be done for academic credit.
  • A shadow experience should not extend beyond 40 hours.
  • The student must complete HIPAA training. The student must print out a certificate upon completion.  Alternatively, if the student has taken HIPAA training at another institution, he/she must provide a certificate of satisfactory completion.    
  • Each student must sign and provide copies of the following documents: (1) the confidentiality agreement; (2) the shadowing liability release form; and (3) the infection control document.
  • Before the student observes patient care, the sponsoring provider must obtain verbal permission from the patient or patient's representative.  It is strongly recommended that the provider make a note in the chart to document that permission was given. 
  • Students must obtain an identification badge.
  • Students will not be granted access and must agree not to attempt to gain access to KUMC network resources, including electronic medical record systems.
  • Upon completion, documentation of training and forms for students who shadow must be retained for a period of six years by the department sponsoring the student's shadow experience.

Future health care students represent one of several groups of individuals who visit our campus and may be exposed to patient information. For complete information about HIPAA requirements for non-KUMC personnel, please contact the privacy official for your organization:

  • Bob Spaniol (Hospital 913-945-5216)
  • Terri Thompson (UKP 913-588-2526)
  • Michelle Naus (KUHP 913-588-1604)
  • Juli Wessel (University 913-588-0940)

Thank you for your effort and cooperation in making this shadow experience a meaningful one for this future health care professional.



Last modified: Sep 30, 2015