U-M Medical School’s Student-Run Free Clinic helps students via new technology
The Medical School’s Student-Run Free Clinic has received a $30,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, to bring technology-based patient education to the clinic.
Representatives from Verizon and the Medical School leadership visited the clinic on June 24 to see the new technology in action, and learn how it’s being used to enable hands-on learning for the students who run the clinic and educate the uninsured patients who come to the Pinckney, Mich. facility.
The grant grew out of the clinic team’s desire to offer patient education materials tailored specifically to the needs of the patients who visit the clinic. After exploring a number of online health education applications and websites, and consulting with faculty and a student from the U-M School of Public Health, the students decided to create a website. They surveyed the clinic’s patients to determine which health education topics and primary health issues they most wanted to learn about.
Based on this information, they created a website that brings together local resources for the area surrounding the clinic, online resources, and health education videos directly from the U-M faculty physicians who volunteer at the clinic and supervise the students. The students have also incorporated health insurance education into the site, and into the clinic visit itself, in an effort to aid patients in finding good, affordable insurance options.
The Verizon funding helped to purchase iPads for patient education, and laptop computers for use by the physicians in the clinic. Patients are encouraged to use the iPads while they are waiting to be seen, as well as during down-time throughout their visit. Over the next several months, the students will be tracking how this affects patient’s experiences in the clinic, especially their access to health insurance.
For more about the U-M Student-Run Free Clinic, and how you can help it achieve its goals of serving patients and enhancing the educational experience of U-M medical students, visit sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/freeclinic/ and https://www.youtube.com/user/UMSRFC