New software at health center hopes to increase organization


By Andre Riveroy

The new software students use to check-in at the Brown-Lupton Health Center does more than keeping up with health records.

The electronic health record system, Medicat, which was installed during the summer, is integrated with the counseling center — it screens students for signs of depression and other mental illnesses.

The software can also send text and email reminders to students about appointments.

The TCU Health Center at noon. Photo courtesy of Brandon Ucker

The new technology was confusing to some students at first, like senior political science major Jake Kammersgar who was so accustomed to filling out paperwork by hand. 

“Realizing that I could immediately fill my proper paperwork out instead of waiting in line made me realize that the system was made to save both the students and staff time,” Kammersgard said. 

Instead of going to the front desk to sign in, students complete their paperwork on a computer, a process that takes less than two minutes.

Before the technology switch, staff members would manually check people in and put paperwork for them, said Kyle Roderick, the clinical informatics analyst at the health center.

“After the patient fills out the paperwork, you have to then process that paperwork by scanning it into the system and then charting it in the correct file,” Roderick said.

Self-check-in kiosks at Brown-Lupton Health Center. Photo by Andre Riveroy

Having the ability to have self-check-in kiosks gives staff and doctors more time to evaluate patient records immediately.

“The more we benefit as a health center, the more the student benefits. If it’s working in our doctor’s and staff’s favor, we are going to be able to divert our attention from the administrative side of health care to the patient side of healthcare.”

Kyle Roderick

Like anything, a new software system can take some getting used to. 

“Going from a more robust system to a less robust system is going to have its inherent difficulties,” said Roderick. 

Roderick believes one of the challenges is the doctors wanting to document the way they’re used to, but the change has made it a lot easier from the administrative side.

“It has been a steep learning curve for all of us,” said Stephanie Baldwin, the allergy nurse at the health center. “The kiosk allows nurses and providers to see patient charts ahead of time before the student is brought back into the exam room; the paperless system is also environmental friendly.”