The OHRP strives to break down siloes that happen both at the University of Montana and within the healthcare and public health field. We believe that by building strong partnerships we can maximize the impact of the various healthcare and public health initiatives in Montana which will ultimately lead to improved health outcomes for all Montanans.

Virtual Job Shadowing using Telepresence Robots

The OHRP supports this program in collaboration with our WWAMI Missoula at St. Luke Community Healthcare partners. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to find a way to keep health professions job shadowing active for high school and college students. Utilizing state funding, we purchased 5 Double Robotics telepresence robots to be sent to healthcare organizations across Montana. St. Luke Community Healthcare, a critical access hospital in Ronan, MT was excited to pilot the telepresence robot. We worked out the logistics with their staff to do the telepresence job shadow with a couple of hospitalists during their inpatient rounds. 5 students can log into the robot and watch the shadow as the robot operator runs the robot from their computer. The students listen in with the provider while they update charts, follow them around the hospital on rounds, and there is time at the end for questions. This program allows students from all over Montana to job shadow in a healthcare setting without having to be physically present. Students receive two hours of shadowing instead of just one student per provider and no one is at risk to spread infectious diseases (e.g., COVID, RSV, etc).

Interested in serving as a virtual job shadowing site? Contact: Liz Kelsey or Lily Apedaile.

 telepresence robot doing rounds in a hospital

On-Campus Clinic Coordination

Presently at UM, there are multiple health profession programs and units that provide services to students, staff, and the public, some as part of their academic curriculum for students.  These services are provided at a variety of sites and venues on and off campus.

UM On-Campus Health Clinics/Centers:

In conversations with a number of these programs, it is apparent each has developed its own policies and procedures on how to bill, code, collect and establish patient medical records for such services.  The programs are interested in moving towards a more coordinated system, similar to an academic health center.

Areas that will need to be addressed during this process include:

  • Revenue Cycle
    • Billing, Coding, and Collection policies and procedures should be consistent across the UM Campus for all healthcare-related clinics and centers.
  • Patient Medical Records Information
    • Patient Medical Record Management policies and procedures should be consistent across the UM Campus for all healthcare-related clinics and centers.
  • Accounting
    • Revenue and Collections for such services should be clarified in terms of how they are accounted for and who benefits and has access to these funds.
  • Workflow/Operations
    • Consistency across the healthcare clinics and centers regarding workflows (i.e., scheduling, follow-up, referrals, etc.) should be adopted by all clinics/centers on-campus to increase patient accessibility.

Currently, we are conducting an analysis of the clinic's operations and needs. After this assessment is complete we will develop a strategic plan to determine how to better coordinate all of the clinic's operations.