How does this change enhance overnight health care for the Harvard community?

Patients will have immediate phone access to skilled clinicians during overnight hours who will provide them with instantaneous education on their health, home treatment options, and available resources. If immediate care is required, patients will be directed to an emergency room.  

How will the change in service work?

Beginning June 17, 2019, HUHS will transition its model of service delivery between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am to a nurse advice line only and will close in-person overnight urgent care. Anyone who needs care for a medical or mental health issue between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am can call the HUHS urgent care phone number, 617.495.5711. The phone number is prominently displayed on the HUHS website for easy access at any time. The RN will determine the severity of the issue, and then facilitate appropriate care, whether that is at an emergency room, providing home care advice, or facilitating a next-day, in-person visit with HUHS. Community members, including residential life staff and friends can also use the service to speak with a qualified medical professional who can offer advice and help facilitate access to HUHS between 8 am and 10 pm. 

What about mental health consultations that occurred in overnight urgent care? 

There is no change in the coverage for mental health urgent care. For members of our community seeking mental health consultation, HUHS Mental Health On-Call Clinicians will continue to be available at night to speak by phone with community members, upon request. These are the same clinicians with whom patients have spoken in the past, and the call-back procedure is the same. 

Citra connects our Mental Health On-Call Clinician directly with the caller in an emergency and whenever there is an imminent safety concern, or in other more ordinary circumstances the Mental Health On-Call Clinician phones back the caller within a short amount of time.

As always, any mental health emergencies will continue to be directed to the emergency room at Cambridge Hospital, with no change.  

What should I do if I am concerned about another community member in the middle of the night? 

As always, you are encouraged to call if you are concerned about another community member. Depending upon the concern, the RN who answers the call will determine next steps. If the concern is related to mental health, the RN will connect you with the Mental Health On-Call Clinician. The Mental Health On-Call Clinician will listen to concerns and help provide an appropriate response to the other community member, and/or will arrange to get help if there is an urgent situation/emergency. You can also encourage the community member to make or join the call, and speak directly with the Mental Health On-Call Clinician.

How will intoxicated students be cared for?

Call the urgent care line, and an RN will answer your call. If the RN determines over the phone that a student needs medical attention, the intoxicated student will be assessed by the team of EMTs from Professional Ambulance. EMTs are well-trained to provide medical assessments and determine whether medical intervention is necessary. If a student does not need intervention, they will be medically cleared and released; if medical intervention is necessary, the student will be transported to a hospital, as is current protocol. In both instances, an HUHS provider and Alcohol and Other Drug Services (AODS) will follow-up with the student. As is advised currently, concerned friends and residential life staff can also access the urgent care line and receive advice on next steps if they are concerned about a fellow student.

Are Day Time Urgent Care Services changing too? 

No, in person Urgent Care services will continue to be available 365 days a year from 8 am to 10 pm at Smith Campus Center. 

Is there a cost for this call to a patient?

There will be no charge to the patient for calling Citra. HUHS covers the cost of this service.

As a HUGHP member and/or retiree, how will this change impact me?

In-person urgent care services for both medical and mental health needs will continue to be available from 8 am to 10 pm, seven days a week throughout the year. Starting at 10 pm, patients will utilize the telephone triage for both medical and mental health issues.