Protecting Patients and Improving Patient Care

Michigan State holds the medical profession in high regard, but its trust must be backed by supporting policies, procedures, and verification. Health care at MSU has been reorganized and new positions added to ensure accountability and policy adherence. Model patient safety and privacy protocols have been instituted, along with quality of care recommendations from an external review. More resources are being directed toward student mental health services. Third-party quality and safety assurance reviews assure delivery of our commitment to achieving the highest quality of patient care and safety standards.

  • Interim President John Engler, in February 2018, announced a reorganization of the university’s health colleges, clinical practices, and student wellness programs to increase safety and quality of care across all MSU health care offerings. Two leadership positions were created to ensure proper oversight of the health system.
    • Norman J. Beauchamp, Jr., dean of the College of Human Medicine, was appointed to the newly created position of associate provost and assistant vice president for health affairs. In this role, he works to increase safety and quality practices across all of MSU’s health care services.
    • Anthony M. Avellino assumed the role of assistant provost and chief wellness officer and MSU HealthTeam chief medical officer. Avellino assists with strategic development of initiatives and programs, assuring compliance, best practices, and exemplary care. He oversees core sports medicine and health care providers, guiding the ongoing reorganization of student health and wellness.
  • The Board of Trustees in August 2018 approved creation of a new organization that encompasses MSU’s colleges of Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, and Nursing to be the multi-specialty group practice of the university. MSU Health Care will nurture a culture of safety, foster a more comprehensive and cost-efficient clinical practice, and increase research opportunities.
  • David Weismantel was named to the new position of executive director of Student Health and Wellness in July 2018. Reporting to Avellino, he will be in charge of all health and wellness services for students provided in Olin Health Center, the MSU Union, designated Neighborhood residence halls, and the Student Services Building.
  • Andrea Amalfitano, director of MSU’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, provides new leadership to the College of Osteopathic Medicine as interim dean.
  • A triage protocol to review all reported allegations or concerns of inappropriate practitioner-patient and practitioner-student interactions was implemented. A multidisciplinary team reviews allegations within 24 hours of receiving a report to determine if there is a risk to patients, students, or staff. If there is any concern, the practitioner is immediately removed from the care setting pending further investigation.  
    • The team consists of representatives from all three health colleges, the chief nursing officer, the chief medical officer, the Office of Institutional Equity, and individuals from legal and human resources. 
    • This measure is in addition to the required review by the Office of Institutional Equity and the MSU Police Department. The combined processes ensure a timely, transparent review meant to be one of the nation’s most responsive.
  • Policies on sensitive examinations and chaperones have undergone extensive reviews by the medical and nursing college deans and HealthTeam staff to ensure MSU’s policies are stringent and uniform across MSU’s clinical practices. They are now considered national exemplars and epitomize the commitment to protecting all involved with sensitive examinations necessary to promote optimal health.
    • Although initially developed over a year ago, the MSU HealthTeam chaperone policy was revised in February 2018 to ensure uniform patient workflow and documentation requirements.
    • Changes have been made to the electronic health record to document the presence of a chaperone for sensitive exams, and training for providers and staff was conducted. The system went live in March 2018.
    • A “consent to treat” form was adopted for patient registrations. It gives consent to the provider for treatment and also informs the patient of her or his right to a chaperone, making it clear minors can have a chaperone present.
    • MSU’s health colleges’ leadership reviewed policies and procedures governing simulated patients or models and faculty assisting with sensitive exams training. MSU’s safety policies and procedures for sensitive exams that occur in the educational setting are now among the most stringent in the nation.
  • Other changes to MSU HealthTeam policies and procedures include:
    • Audits are to be conducted quarterly, or as needed.
    • A practice location policy identifies approved HealthTeam practice locations.
    • The patient satisfaction survey system is being reviewed to obtain better and more timely patient feedback.
    • Uniform clinic signage for wayfinding and to inform patients of their rights is in development.
    • The organization is seeking independent peer review experts to assist with the review of sensitive cases.
    • MSU Health Care is evaluating replacement systems for its incident reporting system to have the ability to follow up and “close the loop” for reporting purposes.
  • MSU is enhancing student-athlete medical care based on a comprehensive review by external sports medicine physicians.
    • Two athletic trainers will be added to the 13 employed currently, and all now will report to medical supervisors rather than strictly through the athletic department.
    • Chaperone and “consent to treat” policies were standardized with those of MSU HealthTeam clinics, as was on-site signage raising awareness of those policies.
    • “360” method of peer evaluation will be applied for sports medicine and training staff.
    • Athletic trainers’ manual is being revised and will be completed this summer.
  • The university is following through with a number of recommendations for improvements to student counseling and psychiatric services outlined in the 2016 report from Keeling & Associates. Improvements to date include:
    • Mark Patishnock was appointed director of Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) in June 2018 after a national search. Based at Olin Health Center, CAPS is the campus unit providing multi-disciplinary, inter-professional mental health care services for students.
    • In total, CAPS will grow from 42.8 staff last year to a budgeted 59.8 positions in 2018-19.
    • CAPS has redesigned its clinical intake process to create tailored screening appointments to meet the unique needs of each student.
    • Single point-of-entry service now is accessible for students by referral, phone, or in person. Counseling services are generally short-term without explicitly defined limits. Any student registered for one or more credits is eligible for an initial consultation. The first three psychiatry appointments are prepaid for enrolled MSU students, then charges are billed to students’ insurance.
    • A second CAPS location opened on the third floor of the MSU Student Union in September 2018 to expand counseling capacity. Six providers were located there, with intent to eventually add four more.
    • Two licensed counselors will be hired and embedded within the South and East Neighborhoods as part of a pilot project funded through Residence Education and Housing Services. A total of three embedded staff in residential neighborhoods and another within the Graduate School are planned.
    • In total, CAPS will grow from 42.8 staff last year to a budgeted 59.8 positions in 2018-19. As of September 2018, CAPS professional staffing included 19 full time equivalent (FTE) counselors, whether psychologist, licensed professional counselor, or clinical social worker. CAPS will hire an additional 8-10 FTE counselors this year. Psychiatry services are provided by eight psychiatrists (4 FTE), one psychiatric nurse, and five clinical coordinators (4.5 FTE), plus psychiatric residents on rotation.
    • MSU is participating in the JED Campus Program for support in comprehensive systems, program, and policy development—building on existing student mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention efforts.
    • All MSU students now have 24-hour access through a phone app to talk or instant message a counselor for emotional or mental health services as part of an integrated student support program. Available in multiple languages, it also connects students to resources including articles about anxiety, stress, and relationships. Students with less severe conditions and lower risk can receive counseling without the typical 2-4 week waiting time for services.
    • A student mental health coalition is being formed to create a unifying group for all MSU students and groups focused on mental health issues, in collaboration with CAPS.
    • Group therapy and workshops have been expanded, including training for academic advisers and campus groups on how to identify, understand, and respond to mental health issues.
    • Mental health staff have access to multicultural and competency training opportunities on a regular basis.

Policies and Information

Patient Privacy During Procedures
Provider Volunteering for Outside Organizations