The Northwestern University Health Services Clinic and Sports Medicine launched the Northwestern Medicine Student Health Service last month to improve student access to the health care system.
The service enables students to manage their healthcare through the use of a common medical record and an online patient portal. Students can access the new MyNM patient portal online or through the app. After their first appointment, students can now view their visiting information, medical records, pay bills, and schedule appointments.
The portal also allows students to add their insurers and upload information, such as vaccination records, to their account. Northwestern Medical Group chief medical officer Dr Phillip Roemer said the portal improves patient-physician communication.
“They can, through this patient portal, communicate directly with their care team electronically and conveniently on their phone, which is a more modern approach and which most patients have really appreciated,” Roemer said.
All students who use the new health service sign Northwestern Medicine consent forms on their first visit, allowing NM to share their information with health care staff.
Feinberg Prof. Lindsay Allen said the new system facilitates better communication between vendors.
“It’s a way to centralize all health information about (the students) so that other providers, whenever they see you for the first time, have access to it,” Allen said.
The integration makes health services more accessible to students by allowing access to physicians and clinical services at the 714 sites of the NM.
Roemer said students can expect to have access to many specialists, from orthopedics to neurologists.
“The clinic and sports medicine are still part of the NU community and will maintain the same high standard of patient-centered care, ”said Vice President of Student Affairs Julie Payne-Kirchmeier in an email to The Daily. “This integration will improve student access to comprehensive clinical services and physicians across Northwestern Medicine’s healthcare system.”
Students should contact their insurance company to determine if they are covered for specialist off-campus referrals.
For services not covered by the annual premium of the Student Health Insurance Plan, payments will be accepted by credit card or through the MyNM portal. Cash and checks are no longer accepted. Students covered by an insurance plan other than NU-SHIP will no longer need to file insurance claims for clinic services as NM will bill their insurers directly.
Professor Feinberg Erin Paquette said she hopes the new system will reduce disparities in health care by expanding the availability of specialist services in a wider variety of locations.
“Being able to go into certain specialty groups that may not have been open to student health service before… will hopefully improve the care students can get,” Paquette said.
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