Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

UHS changes designed to improve quality of care, service

The University Health Service is implementing an electronic health record and changes in the clinic scheduling process as part of its commitment to continuous quality improvement.

 

For additional information about UHS or how to become a patient, visit the website.

UHS will partner with the U-M Health System to implement a common electronic health record called MiChart. MiChart will allow seamless sharing of medical information between UHS and UMHS, with the expected benefit of reducing duplicate testing such as X-rays and laboratory work.

For example, if a patient visits UHS as a primary care site, then goes to UMHS for emergency care or consultation, an authorized UMHS clinical provider will be able to view the patient's UHS record. Audits of access to medical records will be conducted periodically to assure privacy.

The new electronic health record will not affect the UHS commitment to student life and the reporting relationship to the Division of Student Affairs.

"Because the MiChart system will be entirely new, and somewhat challenging for the staff to learn, UHS will allocate additional time for each visit," says Dr. Robert Winfield, UHS director and U-M chief medical officer. "We are fortunate that this is typically a slow time of year, giving us an opportunity to be ready for the fall. The UHS expects to be up to a more normal pace by September. "

In response to MiChart and in an effort to improve patient satisfaction, UHS also has implemented a new scheduling system that has eliminated walk-in traffic for routine health needs. All patients are asked to make an appointment, either by telephone or in person. This change is expected to shorten the wait times and provide better continuity of care.

For urgent medical needs such as urinary tract infections, abdominal pain, lacerations, dehydration, suspected pneumonia, etc., skilled nurses will be available by phone or in person to arrange timely care. Nurse advice, with physician backup, also is available by telephone whenever UHS is closed. Finally, the 9 a.m.-noon Saturday walk-in clinic will continue for patients whose problems cannot wait until Monday.

As part of the quality improvement process, UHS leadership will monitor patient feedback and make adjustments over the coming six months.