Systems for Communication

Approximately 679 residents train in 60 programs within the College of Medicine. The educational environment includes 5 major teaching hospitals and associated clinics. Communication about work environment and educational programs is very important but also difficult among such a large and dispersed group of individuals. In order to provide easy means for residents/fellows to communicate issues of concern about their educational environments and programs, the following methods of communication are in place:

Associate Dean for GME: James A. Clardy, M.D. is the current Associate Dean for GME. He is the designated official for GME in the College of Medicine. He has the authority and responsibility for oversight and administration of the residency/fellowship programs. Individuals and/or groups may contact him to discuss issues related to their work environment and educational programs.

Program Directors: Monthly program directors meet with the Associate Dean for GME and the Chair of the GME Committee to review and discuss issues related to the residency programs.

New Program Director Orientation: Periodically, the Associate Dean for GME provides a session for newly appointed program directors to discuss various aspects of residency/fellowship education.

Program Coordinators: Monthly, program coordinators attend a Program Coordinator Organization meeting to discuss administrative issues and resource problems related to the required paperwork. Minutes are distributed to all program coordinators.

Housestaff Electronic Mail Distribution List: All members of the Resident Organization are part of an electronic e-mail distribution list located on the Global Directory- COM HS Group. This is one of the most important means of communication between the administration and the members of the Resident Organization. This is a protected distribution list with access limited to the Associate Dean for GME, the Director of Housestaff Records, and the Medical Director of University Hospital. Dr. Clardy and Mrs. McKay provide important information to the residents through this means.

Resident Council: The Resident Council meets at least quarterly.

GME Committee: Residents are represented on all GME Committee subcommittees through its resident representatives. These subcommittees meet quarterly with discussions documented in minutes.

Meetings of the Resident Organization: The Chair of the Resident Council may call formal meetings of the resident body as necessary to discuss issues of concern about educational environment, work environment, support, or other issues. These meetings provide a forum for discussion so that recommendations can be made to the GME Committee. The meetings will be closed except for invited guests.

Method to Communicate and Resolve Issues of Concern

Each program must have policies/procedures for residents/fellows to raise and resolve concerns in a confidential and protected manner. In general, when a resident/fellow has a concern, he/she should contact the chief resident or program director for discussion and resolution. If the issue cannot be resolved at this level, the resident should then contact a member of the Resident Council. The procedure for resolution will vary depending on the type of issue. For issues related to general work environment, the Resident Council may discuss the issue or arrange a meeting for the entire Resident Organization to discuss the issue and then submit recommendations to the GME Committee. For issues related to disciplinary action, the procedure outlined in the GME Committee Policy on Disciplinary Action including Probation, Suspension and Dismissal will be followed. All proceedings that relate to an individual resident’s concerns are confidential.

 UAMS E-Mail Access & Usage

See UAMS Administrative Guide policy 2.1.31 for procedures to be followed while accessing and using e-mail.

Privacy, Confidentiality and Public Records Considerations

The UAMS electronic mail (e-mail) system is available to authorized users for the expressed purpose of conducting UAMS business. Reasonable efforts will be made to maintain the integrity and effective operation of its electronic mail systems (e-mail), but users are advised that those systems should not be regarded as a secure medium for the communication of sensitive or confidential information. Any e-mails sent outside of the UAMS network containing Confidential Information, including ePHI, must be encrypted.

Permissible Uses of Electronic Mail

  • Authorized Users: Only UAMS faculty, staff, and students and other persons who have received permission under the appropriate UAMS authority are authorized users of UAMS electronic mail systems and resources.
  •  Purpose of Use: The express purpose of UAMS electronic mail resources is for UAMS business, including academic, clinical and research pursuits

E-Mail Etiquette

When you send e-mail, remember these points:

  • Don’t say anything in an e-mail that you wouldn’t say in a letter on your office letterhead. E-mail should contain appropriate language and be rational, reasonable and respectful.
  • E-mails are admissible in court and deleting a message is not a guarantee that the message cannot be retrieved. Communication should be done within a framework that does not constitute negligence or willful disregard of harmful consequences that might ensue to the institution and its employees.
  • Be aware of the difference between reply and reply-all. Assure that your communication is sent to the proper individual(s) – not inadvertently sent to someone that has no need for the information, or is adversely affected by the communication.
  • E-mail is not a forum to discuss significant events, opinions affecting health care in the institution, lengthy debates or arguments.
  • Employee disciplinary actions are not appropriately sent through e-mail
  • Chain letters are junk mail, and are not appropriate for business e-mail. Do not forward or reply to chain letters.
  • Use common sense when writing e-Mail. Ask yourself if this is appropriate to send before you hit the SEND button.