New Watkins check-in system cures headache of waiting in line
- Sep. 24, 2012
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Students can say goodbye to waiting in line at Watkins Memorial Health Center for their scheduled doctor’s appointments. Last week, the center introduced a self-check-in system, which allows students to sign-in for their scheduled appointments.
“It’ll certainly allow students to get through registration and directly to their doctor’s appointments a lot faster,” said Joe Gillespie, associate director of KU Student Health Services.
After checking in at the kiosk, students receive a print out that tells them directly where to go for their appointment.
“I personally like being able to check myself in,” said Linseey Johnson, a junior from Kansas City, Mo.
Marshonda Willinghan, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., sees the system as giving students a more convenient access to the health services offered at Watkins. Willinghan has worked as an office assistant at the clinic for three years and has all her health needs taken care of through Watkins.
“The staff is more focused on students,” Willinghan said. “It’s convenient because it’s right on campus. Since the doctors only accept student patients, they are more attuned to their needs and can make a faster, more accurate diagnosis.”
All appointment costs are covered in the student-health fee of $115.20 per semester, but not all students plan to use the services offered. Maria Ramirez, a junior from Kansas City,Kan., still goes to her family doctor for her health needs.
“Since I commute, it’s more convenient for me to remain with my current doctor,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez isn’t the only member of the student body not taking advantage of the student health services, approximately half the student body does not visit Watkins.
Last year, the health center saw more than 15,000 people for a total of more than 100,000 appointments, Gillespie said. He estimated that at least 20 percent of students who walk through the door can now use the self-check-in kiosk. Students walking in without a scheduled appointments, making their first visit or changing their previous insurance information will still need to check-in through the front desk, he said.
While Willinghan has not seen many students come into Watkins this semester, she expects that to change as the year continues because of increased illness and awareness of the health center’s services.
“I feel comfortable at Watkins,” Willinghan said. “The staff makes students feel comfortable with any needs they may have.”
Marshall Schmidt is a graduate student majoring in biomedical engineering from Mount Hope. Read more from Marshall Schmidt.