The IU Health Center is the primary on-campus facility offering students easy access to a variety of services, including primary medical care and mental health support through Counseling and Psychological Services.
The health center recently expanded its same-day medical appointment system. Although students are still able to visit the walk-in clinic, the same-day system allows them to schedule a medical appointment for a specific time that day to avoid a long wait.
Students are now able to schedule same-day appointments online using their IU login information through the health center's website.
"You can still walk in and wait to be seen, or you can pick a time slot that is more convenient," said Pete Grogg, the health center's executive director.
There is also a new system in the works for students who want to charge their visit to the bursar's account.
Originally at the health center, once students finished their appointments, they would have to wait in a line to speak with a cashier who would have to process the charge manually.
Grogg said there will be an automated bursar payment system. The ability for the health center to automatically bill a student's bursar account will start Monday, Feb. 12, Grogg said in an email.
“If you’re going to have your charges go to your bursars account, you'll be able to just leave after your appointment," Grogg said. "You won't have to check out with your cashier."
Although these two additions to the health center are separate in function, both have been designed to improve the patient experience and increase efficiency, Grogg said.
"You can schedule your visit around your own time that same day," Grogg said. "And then, you know, following your appointment, you can leave as soon as possible. You don't have to stand in line just to tell somebody that I need to transfer it to my bursar's account."
The wider scope of these new processes is to lessen patient-administrative interaction and to put the focus back on the medical visit, Grogg said.
Once a patient's appointment is finished, Grogg said the goal is to get him or her out as quickly as possible.
On the part of CAPS, other recent initiatives are in place that have been designed to provide more convenient counseling services to students.
As of now, students are able to schedule an appointment with a CAPS counselor in either the Jacobs School of Music, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs or the health center.
Additionally, through the Let's Talk: Multicultural Outreach Program, counselors are available in several cultural centers and the Office of International Services.
Nancy Stockton, director of CAPS, said these services have increased the number of international and minority students receiving counseling.
"We think it breaks down some stigma, breaks down some barrier," she said. "We're very pleased with the program."
Though a variety of new programs and systems are falling into place at the health center, several program directors said the facility continues to hone in on its focus of providing students with integrative services across CAPS and the health center's medical services.
Stockton offered one common example of when integration occurs.
“A student might go to a medical provider with concerns about not being able to sleep well," Stockton said. "After the medical provider talks with the student, it might turn out that the sleep difficulty is very much related to anxiety or possibly depression, so they would very likely refer that student to CAPS.”
As another example on campus, Stockton said students with eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia seek help at the health center.
In these cases, medical providers, counselors and dietitians from both medical services and CAPS work together as a team to combat the eating disorder.
“A student has access to the expertise of each of those disciplines that work together," Stockton said.
By the very nature of the health center as an on-campus facility, many patients are students who are seeking health care and speaking with medical professionals on their own for the first time, said Diana Ebling, the health center's medical director.
Ebling said one element of the health center's mission is to provide students with information.
“A big focus of what we do is education," she said. "So, someone may come in thinking that medicine is the answer for something when, in fact, it may or may not be. Or it may be that there are better treatment options."
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