Making students’ health smarter: GHC’s patient portal

Students and faculty can now access their health records and make appointments digitally using the Graham Health Center’s (GHC) patient portal — a secure and private tool for each patient to confidently share their medical information with only the healthcare professionals at the clinic.

Since the pandemic began, the GHC’s patient portal has continued to update, making it more digitally accessible to the Oakland University community.

Around March of last year, the portal was created for students and faculty to have access to their medical records at the clinic. It then became beneficial during the pandemic for students and staff to upload their required COVID-19 immunizations. Oakland University gave a $100 incentive for students to upload their COVID-19 immunization records to the patient portal.

Today, the portal can be used to make appointments for testing and immunizations, and can also keep track of students’ and faculty’s health records.

Additionally, students and faculty that are patients of the GHC can request prescription refills through the portal. Messages can be directly sent to the desired health care provider through the portal, and any medical forms can be submitted digitally.

Appointments for testing and check-ups can now be made digitally using the portal instead of calling or visiting the clinic.

The GHC offers more than COVID-19 testing and general immunizations. They also provide illness care and preventative healthcare such as STI testing, contraceptives and medical management for mental illnesses.

The GHC is covered under a variety of insurances. However, insured or not, they will still do everything they can to ensure the safety of the students and faculty at OU. Being a digital way to keep track of students’ and faculty’s health, the portal can create a healthy environment within the OU community.

Some students at OU, however, know about the GHC but are not aware of the features and tools.

Dustin Keel, 22, is attending his fifth year at Oakland University and was unaware of the patient portal. Typically, students who live on campus are aware of GHC and its patient portal. Commuters—not so much.

He lived on campus for the first two years of college, before the portal was launched, then started commuting from his hometown in Ortonville. He spends most of his days on campus then returns home at night.

Keel expressed how inconvenient it is to go to the clinic he usually goes to and have to get his prescription at a pharmacy across town. He goes to a clinic back where he lives but frequently stays on campus more than going back to his hometown. He said having prescription refill requests on the portal seems like a benefit to him.

“I wish I’d known about it sooner,” Keel said. “I didn’t even think they had a lot of medical assistance. I just figured it was a place to get tested.”

Ann Rayford, the interim director of the GHC and a nurse practitioner, said in a patient portal tutorial that the portal only offers appointments for nurse-type visits such as vaccines and testing. However, the clinic can help with any concerns students may have.

The GHC’s mission is “to provide high quality, cost-effective health care and health education to the Oakland University Community.”

The clinic is located at 408 Meadow Brook road across the street from the Human Health Building, and its hours are on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.