Improvements made to Southeastern's Student Health Center
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Just in time for the start of a new academic year, the Health Center at Southeastern Louisiana University has implemented a number of innovations designed to improve efficiency and service to the university’s more than 15,000 students.
Michelle Reed, a nurse of 22 years who was named director of the University Health Center this past year, said the center has undergone physical modifications and has implemented other changes, including a new on-line appointment system.
“The telephone appointment system was not efficient,” she said. “Once students got through, the call could become lengthy while we tried to identify available appointment times that met the needs of the students. The process could become time consuming and frustrating for both students and staff members.”
“With the online scheduling system,” she said, “students are able to access the Health Center’s Web site and enter the appointment schedule portal. The students then choose the day they would like to be seen, and the system shows them the available appointments for that day.”
“The telephone appointment system was not efficient,” she continued. “Once students got through, the call could become lengthy while we tried to identify available appointment times that met the needs of the students. The process could become time consuming and frustrating for both students and staff members.”
As director, Reed oversees the walk-in clinic on campus for students that provides management of acute episodic illness or injury, routine well visits, immunizations, allergy treatments, and health education and self-care programs.
“The overall goal of the Health Center is to provide quality, affordable health care to our diverse community of students and to promote health and wellness at our university,” Reed said.
Reed said there is also a link on the center’s Web site called “How to save time at your appointment” designed to decrease wait times. She encourages students to go to the link prior to their appointment to complete any required documentation.
Additional changes implemented at the Health Center include the establishment of electronic medical records, eliminating the need for paper charts; the ability to provide and perform lab tests for Strep throat and Mononucleosis at a reduced cost to students; and the ability to offer testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, also at a low cost, through the women’s and men’s health clinic.
The new exam rooms, created from the conversion of two large rooms into six exam rooms, is intended to reduce bottlenecks and save time for students and health care personnel as well.
“In the past, a practitioner utilized one exam room to see students, resulting in bottlenecks and lengthy wait times,” Reed said. “We converted two large rooms that were not being utilized to their maximum potential into six, fully functional exam rooms. These rooms will allow us to see students more timely and efficiently without compromising quality.”
Reed added that they implemented a patient satisfaction survey in July and encourages students to take the time to fill it out.
“The Health Center is here to meet the needs of our students,” she said. “We are encouraging all students to tell us what they like about the center and what they don’t. We welcome suggestions for improvement.”