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Patient experience a guiding principle for new Clinics and Surgery Center

“We wanted to create an experience at the Clinics and Surgery Center that was incredibly unique—one that patients didn’t see at other places."
University of Minnesota Health will offer extended hours for highly specialized medical care at the Clinics and Surgery Center. That's just one of the ways we've built a better patient experience at the new facility, opening Feb. 22.

Our new University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center, opening Feb. 22, will house 37 medical specialties, more than 1,200 care providers, two pharmacies and even one café. 

One thing you won’t find in the center? Clinic check-in desks.

The removal of the check-in desk, normally a staple of clinics and hospitals, is just one way we’re innovating to improve the patient experience in the 342,000-square-foot Clinics and Surgery Center. From the beginning, the center was designed to be a patient-friendly, highly accessible facility. 

“We wanted to create an experience at the Clinics and Surgery Center that was incredibly unique—one that patients didn’t see at other places, one that was oriented toward customer service as much as possible,” said Reena Kanodia, the senior director of administrative clinic operations for University of Minnesota Health. “Check-in desks force the patient to approach us. Instead, we wanted to approach them.”

To accomplish that, University of Minnesota Health will employ patient concierges and a Care Connect badge system; the concierges will greet you when you arrive and answer any questions. Our Care Connect network will allow our staff to find you in the facility and bring you to your appointment location.

Removing check-in desks is just one of many ways we have revolutionized the patient experience in the Clinics and Surgery Center.

Learn more about our patient concierges and the Care Connect system.

Patient-friendly features at every level

University of Minnesota Health is the first health system in our market to offer extended hours for highly specialized medical care. Our Clinics and Surgery Center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays, it will be open from 8 a.m. to noon. 

“It’s truly groundbreaking,” said Lynne Fiscus, MD, the medical director for the Clinics and Surgery Center. “No other location in our region has this kind of availability for highly trained academic medical specialists.”

Using MyChart, an electronic medical records system, Clinics and Surgery Center patients will also be able to take advantage of our new e-Check-In service, which allows you to check in from home and complete questionnaires before your appointment up to two weeks before your visit. The ability to complete pre-appointment paperwork at home means our patients will be able to spend more time with their care provider during the appointment itself. Patients can also use MyChart to see test results, request or cancel an appointment and take other actions. MyChart is even available in a free, secure mobile app for iPhone and Android users.

Building design fosters collaboration

Simply having so many medical specialties in one space creates its own advantages.

To foster collaboration across care teams, the building itself was designed with 28 “collaboration spaces,” where care providers from one or more medical specialties can meet to discuss your care. 

“We’ve also made a concerted effort to share and transfer knowledge from clinic to clinic,” Kanodia said. “If patient has two different clinic visits in one day, the care team at the second clinic will have access to see vitals taken during the first appointment. This saves time for both our patients and providers.”

Because the facility also contains an Ambulatory Surgery Center with 10 operating rooms, patients don’t need to travel far from their pre-surgical check-ins to the procedure location. 

Our valet service will also be greatly improved at the new center. Patients can pay for valet and parking after their appointment using tablets mounted to Discovery Bars located throughout the building. Once the payment is entered, the system will automatically notify our valets to bring the vehicle to our pick-up location. Our concierges will also be on hand to offer mobility assistance for those who need it. Finally, patients at the Clinics and Surgery Center can also use our Discovery Experience tablets to look up available clinical trials and research innovations that may apply to their condition. 

Learn more about parking and valet services at the new Clinics and Surgery Center.

All this technology won’t come at the expense of the “human touch,” Fiscus and Kanodia said.

“We’re using technology not to replace human interaction, but to enhance interaction,” Fiscus said.

“The experience our patients are going to feel in the new building will be drastically different from our current state, not just in a physical building standpoint, but also in the way that we’re taking care of them,” Kanodia said.