As the air grows colder and flu season sets in, the Yale College Council will release a survey this weekend measuring student satisfaction with University Health Services.
The survey, which was written in collaboration with YUHS and will be released this Sunday, includes questions about the quality of health care offered at YUHS. It will try to target areas that need improvement and assess how knowledgeable Yale students are about the YUHS health plan. YCC members involved in drafting the survey said they are hopeful that its results will prompt YUHS to make changes that will better suit the student body.
YUHS Director Paul Genecin said that while he has yet to see the final version of the survey, health services played a role in formulating the survey questions.
“We certainly value student input and of course we will respond to [the survey],” Genecin added.
R. David Edelman ’07, chairman of the committee formed to write and administer the survey, said YUHS approached the YCC and asked the council to serve as an intermediate between health services and students.
“This survey is the beginning of an effort that is truly collaborative, and that’s why it will ultimately prove to be successful,” YCC president Steven Syverud ’06 wrote in an e-mail.
But not all students said they think that the survey will be as effective as YCC members hope.
“You can get certain shallow statistics from a survey,” said Anna Grotberg ’08. “But over-arching issues are difficult to address.”
Grotberg also said she thinks the majority of students who respond to the survey will be those who already use YUHS services often.
Edelman said he came up with the idea for the survey early last summer when many of his friends approached him and asked for a formal way to address issues with YUHS. Edelman said the survey is also intended to gauge the knowledge students have about their health care options because he suspects students may not seek out care available to them.
“A lot of students don’t know, for example, that they can get primary care for free even if they are not on the university’s health plan,” said Govind Rangrass ’08, another member of the YCC committee that drafted the survey. “We want to improve student knowledge.”
Both Edelman and Rangrass said that by quantifying students’ concerns they will be able to make influential changes.
“I think we will see changes if we lobby the administration with real, concrete numbers to represent students’ opinions,” YCC Vice-President Marissa Brittenham ’07 said.
Women’s health issues will also be one of the survey’s major focuses, Edelman said. He said he has been working closely with the Women’s Center on the issue of emergency contraception availability and concerns that YUHS may not proactively offer such services to students.