HITS Tech Guide to Working Remotely

This guide covers the technology staff, faculty, and students need to create a successful remote work environment. For telecommuting policies and manager resources, see the Michigan Medicine HR website.

The Right Equipment

computer mouse

Michigan Medicine managed laptops and related peripherals (e.g., keyboard, mouse, docking station) can be taken offsite. Do not remove external monitors or desktop/tower computers without approval. Desktop computers will not work offsite without special setup due to no VPN or WiFi card. Tablets and cell phones can be useful but are not adequate standalone equipment for working remotely. 

If you use a Michigan Medicine managed laptop (e.g., CoreImage)

Record items you take home in the Telework - Existing Equipment request.

If you use a personal computer

The operating system should be reasonably recent (e.g., Windows 10, macOS Mojave) to ensure software compatibility and security protection. 

Quality Internet Connection

At a minimum, your internet plan should run at 5 mbps download and 1 mbps upload. We recommend 15 mbps download and 5 mbps upload to prevent common connectivity-related issues, and that you connect via a physical wire. Recommended speed test tools: Comcast, Google, or SpeedTest.net.

Windows Virtual Desktop

Windows Virtual Desktop provides authorized users with access to a streamlined set of tools and services (including MiChart), available using any device, any browser, and without the need for VPN.

Remote Access to Onsite Workstations

Need access to a desktop computer in your office from home? Set up a new Remote Desktop Connection to safely access your applications, files, and servers.

New Equipment Requests

If you are approved to work from home, your supervisor or manager should complete this form: Telecommuting IT Preparation for Approved Work. Provide clear information on the context of your request so we can prioritize appropriately. We are receiving multiple requests for equipment as demands for telework increases and may not be able to fill all requests immediately. We appreciate your patience as we work to ensure our equipment is aligned to our most critical operations. 

Need help deciding which device/access is right for you?

Compare HITS Remote Computing Options.

The Right Access

Cloud and lock symbols

This section covers the basic technical access most Michigan Medicine employees need to telework. Certain jobs may require specialized access. If in doubt, consult your manager or department representative.

Connect to the Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Use the Michigan Medicine VPN to connect to secure resources remotely. 

Review your Duo preferences

Update your two-factor authentication settings to accommodate working remotely. For example, if you currently opt to use a landline, you may wish to add a mobile phone number as an option.

Intelligent Hub

Intelligent Hub is required for any personally owned mobile device in order to access Exchange email natively, use Epic Haiku/Canto mobile applications to access MiChart, and connect to the secure Michigan Medicine WiFi network.

Update Your Preferred Contact Method

Validate or update your personal contact information by visiting the Michigan Medicine User Profile Page.

Productivity and Collaboration

digital message box

The main differences between working in the office and teleworking may relate to how you and your colleagues communicate and collaborate. These tools connect you remotely so your work can continue uninterrupted.

Outlook Email

To check your Michigan Medicine email remotely, use Outlook on the web, or connect to the Michigan Medicine VPN to use the Outlook client.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business is Michigan Medicine's primary business communication tool for instant messaging, screen sharing, and audio/videoconferencing:

Zoom for Health at U-M

Zoom for Health at U-M is a HIPAA-aligned, cloud-based video conferencing option. It features group chat, screen sharing, enhanced accessibility, recordings, hand raise functionality, breakout rooms and more.

Zoom Webinar

Zoom Webinar broadcasts large events or virtual conferences for 10,000+ people. Includes the ability to manage panelists, designate co-hosts, conduct audience Q&A, and more. 

Questions about Videoconference Options?

Have questions about the different video conferencing options? See a comparison chart here

File Storage and Document Sharing

two sheets of paper

Access the latest version of your files, even those on your network home drives, from anywhere as long as you’re connected to the internet:

Shared Drives (S or T drive) and Personal Drives (H drive)

Network Attached Storage (NAS)  is space commonly referred to as the Home Directory or "H: drive" and Shared Drives or "S and T." To access it remotely, login to the Michigan Medicine VPN and map the drive. You will need to connect to the VPN to access these drives.

U-M Box

U-M Box: This secure cloud storage is approved for storing sensitive information. 

U-M Google

U-M Google: Create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations — and then collaborate with colleagues in real-time using online editing tools. Do not use it for PHI or storing other sensitive information.

Remote Access to Onsite Workstations

Remote Access to onsite workstations. Need access to a desktop computer in your office from home? Set up a new Remote Desktop Connection to safely access your applications, files, servers and more.

Dropbox at U-M

Dropbox at U-M is a secure, cloud-based storage option for storing all types of files and collaborating with colleagues inside and outside of U-M. All active faculty, staff, and students at Michigan Medicine have access to Dropbox at U-M. Create an account and login by visiting dropbox.umich.edu and signing in with your UMICH (level-1) credentials. 

SharePoint

SharePoint is a web-based platform that allows Michigan Medicine teams to securely store, organize, share, and access information. This multipurpose tool is highly configurable and usage varies substantially across teams and departments.

MiChart Remote Access

tablet and cloud

For detailed instructions on how to access MiChart remotely, see: Accessing Hosted Applications from Outside the Michigan Medicine Network (link is external).

From a CoreImage Computer:

Although not required for accessing just MiChart, it is generally recommended that you connect to the Michigan Medicine VPN first if you need access to other internal resources (network drives, using the Outlook email, client internal website) as well as to ensure maintenance on the machine is kept up to date.

However, if you are only going to only access MiChart, then a VPN connection is not required.  In this case, launch MiChart as normal and you will be prompted to enter your Michigan Medicine (Level-2) login and a passcode. For Passcode, enter "push" or type in six-digit Duo Token Code.

From a personal computer

Log into Michigan Medicine's Virtual Application Portal. You are required to respond to a Duo prompt before proceeding. 

You are not able to save documents to local drives or access printers from within MiChart on a personal device.

Limited mobile functionality

Intelligent Hub is required for use:

Phones and Voicemail

telephone

If you work in a call center environment using Aspect, you will need Jabber installed on your Michigan Medicine managed computer in order to receive calls. All other remote workers should use a personal cell phone or landline for work-related calls. Record your alternative contact number in your Michigan Medicine voicemail greeting.

Check Voicemail Remotely

If you have a Cisco phone onsite, follow these directions to access your voicemail from an external phone:

  • Dial 734-998-2400
  • Press * [star/asterisk]
  • Enter your mailbox ID number and press #
  • Enter your PIN/password then press #
  • If you experience voicemail issues, call AT&T at 800-498-4858.

Forwarding Your Office Phone

The ability to forward a U-M phone to a non-UM phone number was activated temporarily. Providing an alternative contact number in your Michigan Medicine voicemail greeting is a preferred alternative to call forwarding.

Jabber

Jabber allows you to use a Michigan Medicine managed computer (CoreImage) to answer a single U-M phone number. Jabber cannot be set up for phones with multiple lines. It cannot be used with older Nortel phones or phones connected to the Centrex system (instead, contact AT&T at 800-498-4858 for assistance call forwarding). 

Request Jabber by submitting a request. HITS enables each account individually with the vendor, which can take up to five days to complete. Your cell phone must also have Intelligent Hub installed to use Jabber. 

Aspect Users: Cannot use Jabber and Aspect on their cell phone. It must be used on a CoreImage workstation or laptop. Remoting into your workstation to use Aspect with Jabber is not supported. If you are requesting Jabber and your number is associated with an Aspect account, you must have a CoreImage device to have the software properly configured. If you do not have a CoreImage device, your supervisor or manager should complete this form: Telecommuting IT Preparation for Approved Work.

Online Learning

pencil

If circumstances require you to temporarily take your teaching or learning online, these tools can enable alternate modes of course delivery. See our Remote Education Resources Guide and Medical Education Resources.

Accessibility Considerations

media play icon

When changes happen rapidly, individuals with disabilities can quickly become disadvantaged. The way you create content can help ensure inclusive experiences.

Text Contrast and Style

Use black text on a white background to ensure text stands out. 

Do not use color alone to denote differences in emphasis and content meaning.

Alt-Text:

Provide a brief text alternative for images, graphs, and charts to explain what makes the image important.

Closed Captions

Captioning media provides greater comprehension of the material and provides access for those with hearing impairments.

Link Text

Use descriptive titles for link text, titles, and headers.

Tables

Use simple tables when possible, with column and row headers.

Need Assistance While Working Remotely?

Person wearing a headset

If you require technical assistance while working off-site, and are not able to find an answer in our Work from Home Resources, the HITS Service Desk can offer remote support. Visit our online service portal and click the bubble on the bottom right to chat with a Virtual Agent.

When contacting the Service Desk, please have your computer's Term ID and mention that you are remote. If your issue is related to a network connection, contact your Internet Service Provider first to ensure the problem isn’t with your home network. If your device requires physical repair, you will need to bring it on-site for processing.