Dean’s Message

March 2, 2023

Improving the patient experience

University Medical Center is steadfastly committed to enhancing the patient experience. Studies show, and we know, that better patient experiences ultimately lead to better patient health outcomes.

To this end, we are currently engaged in two major projects – upgrading our telephone service, particularly at UMC in Tuscaloosa, and elevating our Patient Portal.

UMC in Tuscaloosa typically receives approximately 800 calls each day, and I acknowledge that we have a somewhat complex phone tree system. We are working with a consultant to resolve our telephone issues. Our goal is that when patients call UMC, they reach a person and that they have their needs promptly met.

We are also striving to make our Patient Portal more robust. Work is underway to add features such as online check-in for patient appointments and online bill paying. In the very near future, we also want to advance these and other features of our Patient Portal. For example, we want our patients to be able to easily navigate the portal and get all of their available information in a concise and timely fashion.

As the interoperability of our systems improve, so will the patient experience.

We are also working to decrease the time it takes to schedule appointments, especially for new patients, and to lessen the time patients spend in the waiting room.

I have outlined just a few of the ways we are working to elevate the patient experience. There will be more enhancements, and I will provide information about those in future Dean’s Messages.

Our goal at UMC is for all of the processes and systems that facilitate our clinical care minimize barriers and enrich the patient experience.

The College of Community Health Sciences operates University Medical Center, the UA Student Health Center and Pharmacy, Brewer-Porch Children’s Center and Capstone Hospitalist Group.