Health Services originally opened on campus in its present building in 1964. Nine registered nurses and five physicians initially staffed Health Services. The facility housed a medical laboratory, a diagnostic radiology department and a pharmacy that was directed by a nurse until 1982 when a pharmacist was hired. In the 1960s and 1970s, Health Services was an inpatient and outpatient facility open 24/7 throughout the year. A nurse was always on duty. In fact, after 5:00 p.m. the nurse on duty was responsible for urgent care, patient meals, laboratory tests, dispensing medications, performing x-rays, and so on. Most in-patients were student athletes.
In the early 1980s the UT Arlington football team was disbanded. This created a dramatic drop in the inpatient census and the resulting closure of the inpatient-nursing unit. Concentrating on outpatient or ambulatory care, Health Services adjusted its hours from 24/7 to 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and then down to a closing time of 5:00 p.m.
Until 1992 the Student Service Fee Advisory Committee funded Health Services. Then in 1992 the Texas Legislature passed a bill creating a Medical Services Fee. Funds to operate Health Services now come from student tuition per student per term. The Texas Administrative Code requires these funds be used for healthcare to enrolled students only.
In 1998, a pilot program was initiated to evaluate faculty and staff members on an urgent care basis. This program was formalized in 2000. Since the Health Center was no longer seeing students only, the University changed its name to UT Arlington Health Services. Subsequent re-evaluation of the costs versus the benefits of using University resources to treat University employees who are already provided with state-funded health care led to the decision to stop providing treatment of University employees. Faculty and staff are no longer eligible to utilize Health Services as of September 1, 2011.
In January 2007, Health Services changed the medical clinic from all walk-ins to all appointments.
In July 2009, Health Services went live with their first electronic medical record system in accordance with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. All student health records are now documented and stored electronically. The benefits of an electronic medical record system include increased quality of care, increased productivity and efficiency, increased security, and reduced paper usage.
In May 2013, Mental Health Services and Counseling Services merged to become Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Work continues on this integration and students will benefit from this merge with additional psychiatric and psychological staff and services.