University Health Center Cuts Wait Time for Students

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State University’s main campus in Tempe, Ariz., has unveiled its renovated Health Services Building, an energy-efficient facility where patients wait less to get help.

The previous building, which was constructed in 1954 and last renovated in 1968, needed additional space to offer services to the more than 70,000 students attending ASU. Phoenix-based Orcutt Winslow and San Antonio-based Lake + Flato were the architects on the project, and Salt Lake City-based Okland Construction were the general contractors.

In the renovated space, which is awaiting LEED Gold certification, health services workers can see 50 to 70 more patients per day, said Allan Markus, director of the university’s Health Services.

Along with in-person visits, new interactive screens now make it possible for students unable to come in, or those attending one of the three other ASU locations, to have an appointment with staff.

In a presentation of the new conference room, Markus used a screen to talk to a nurse practitioner on the Polytechnic campus and listened to a mock patient’s heartbeat through speakers.

“It makes it much easier for (the nurse practitioner) to take care of patients,” Markus said. “Doctors can be there every day of the week, in essence.”

No patients have yet used the technology, but Markus has used it to hold conferences.

“Clinically we haven’t used it yet, but just this past week we have installed the encrypted portal,” he said. “So now that we have the encryption to protect patient confidentiality and security of the system, we can go ahead with seeing patients interactively.”

The new facility is especially accommodating for those patients who show up in person, who are now waiting less to see a staff member.

“We usually see about 240 to 300 patients a day, and now we’ve seen a seven percent increase in the number of patients that are able to be seen since the new construction started because the building is much more efficient than it used to be,” Markus said. “In addition, because of the new set up we’ve been able to complete labs in the rooms without moving patients to other areas. This is saving 30 to 50 minutes for every patient that needs lab work.”

The new facility was recently named a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. ASU Health Services will now have access to the latest Mayo Clinic expertise to help care with patients and improve their health, according to the university.

The Health Services Building will offer services including AskMayoExpert, a state-of-the-art tool that provides access to Mayo Clinic expertise in disease management, clinical care guidelines, treatment recommendations and reference materials, eConsults, which will allow ASU physicians to ask Mayo experts for input on specific questions.

“This new facility and our close relationship with Mayo Clinic will help us provide the best care possible in the most efficient ways possible,” Markus said. “With the new facility, we have combined complementary/integrative medicine (acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, massage therapy and nutrition counseling) with traditional medicine, all with the goal of providing exactly what the patient needs to be in the best health to be successful at ASU.”