75°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Health Services Goes Hi-Tech

While students will still have to face scan-tron forms during finals week, the dreaded forms have recently been eliminated from at least one area of life at UMass Boston – the patient registration process at University Health Services (UHS).

UHS’ vision is “to enhance the mission of higher education through promoting optimal health and well-being to the campus community.” Moving towards a more user-friendly approach in implementing this vision, UHS has introduced MedPro, which Kathleen Golden McAndrew, executive director of UHS and adult nurse practitioner, described as a new “computerized medical management system that allows UHS to provide confidential and secure medical tracking.”

Goldie Lengel, director of nurse practitioners, stated, “We’re going hi-tech. MedPro will be most useful for now in providing more accurate and efficient record keeping.” She explained that this will make visiting UHS a smoother and faster process. Patients will not have to wait as long to see their provider because they will not have to sign in. McAndrew pointed out that, beyond the check-in process, MedPro enhances patient care by linking clinicians together.

While making patient care more accessible, UHS also stresses that their services are available to all students. Lengel emphasized, “It doesn’t matter if students have university health insurance or not, or if they are part-time or full-time students. Our services are available to all students who have paid the health services fee.”

UHS approach to healthcare is holistic, “promoting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being,” and aims to “increase awareness of health related issues, assist students with making responsible decisions relative to health promotion and disease prevention, and provide quality healthcare to the UMB student population.” General medicine, counseling, health promotion, and P.R.I.D.E. (drug and alcohol education) services provided by UHS are available to all students, regardless of the source of their health insurance.

UHS also ensures that these services are financially accessible. While a “minimal co-pay” is required for some services, such as Tai Chi, specialty physical examinations, dermatology, internal medicine, more than three counseling center visits, and some laboratory services, other services are offered free of charge, such as walk-in episodic care and re-check visits, annual examinations, a patient’s first three counseling center visits, tuberculosis skin tests, and P.R.I.D.E. and health promotion programs.

The Women’s Health program offers annual exams and PAP smears, emergency contraception (also known as “the morning-after pill”), pregnancy testing and counseling. The Men’s Health program offers annual exams and specialty care. There are free condoms for all in the UHS waiting area.

Looking forward, UHS plans to improve patient care within the next year by introducing new services, such as orthopedics, and expanding the use of MedPro. Lengel concluded, “We hope that patients will eventually be able to make their own appointments online.”

A complete list of UHS offerings can be found at www.umb.edu/students/health. Brochures can be picked up at the UHS office in the Administration Building, second floor, and questions can be answered by calling 617-287-5660 (general medicine), or 617-287-5690 (counseling), 7-5685 (health promotion), or 7-5680 (P.R.I.D.E. drug and alcohol education).