Employees get site, phone line for medical needs

The University of Miami is making it easier for its employees to connect with their doctors through a website and a phone number that allows them to schedule appointments and find the appropriate doctor for their medical needs.

The UHealth Connect system now includes an employee-exclusive phone line in addition to the public line. Because few UM employees used the system, administrators hope that it will encourage more employees to use UHealth Connect.

“I have had trouble scheduling appointments with UM doctors before the system because it became frustrating when I got transferred to different people and it took too long to finally get a response,” said case manager Nikki Abramson, who works in the dean of students’ office.

Abramson said she hopes this line will resolve her troubles when it comes to scheduling her annual medical check-up, which she plans on making soon.

Call center operators answer 1.2 million calls every year; about half of those have to do with scheduling and the others fall into the categories of general information and directory.

“We have been growing and expanding since we first started five years ago”, said Daniel Fleisher, director of patient access for UHealth Connect.

A team of 160 on-site operators is divided into 20 clinical departments such as medical and dermatology.

The schedulers can view a patient’s MyUHealthChart, a secure online portal where members can view a complete medical history, schedule appointments with their physicians through email, view certain lab results and order prescriptions.

The busiest months for the operators are January and February because those months make up one of the “open” seasons during the year when the insurance companies can sign in new members.

“In this system, UM employees get priority and are led to the appropriate doctor immediately,” Fleisher said.

Immediate family members of UM employees are also given the same access and attention. Nancy del Pozzo, who is the office manager at the dean of student’s office and has a toddler and newborn son, relies on it.

“My oldest son had an eye infection, and I used the CARE line to get to the ER right away,” del Pozzo said. “It helped a lot.”

Employees can call the number on the back of their UM health insurance cards from Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m and 6 p.m., for reasons such as scheduling an appointment or getting a prescription refill.