Login ID, email formatting standards change for NEW UNC Health Care co-workers beginning June 17

Beginning June 17, 2013, new colleagues joining UNC Health Care will use both a new login ID format called the “uID” and a new email address formatting standard - "firstname.lastname@domain." These changes will not affect the login IDs or email addresses of current users.

These changes will go into effect for new co-workers and those with duplicate user IDs/email addresses across UNC Health Care locations on June 17. Any current colleagues with duplicate IDs/email addresses will be contacted personally before this change is made.

The goal of the UNC Health Care Information Technology leaders managing these projects is to create a common infrastructure that can support all UNC Health Care users. Currently our different hospitals and clinics use different email address formatting standards and different logon/ID standards. Much like Epic@UNC aims to create one patient ID across UNC Health Care, these initiatives will help us create one unique identity for each colleague across UNC Health Care.

View more information about each of these changes below:


A new logon ID format

Currently we have several different login ID formats across UNC Health Care (for example, “jsmith” at UNC Hospitals and Chatham Hospital; “john.smith” at UNC Physicians Network; or "jps1234567" at Rex). This creates confusion, the potential for duplication, and also a great deal of back-end work for our IT colleagues.

A new, standardized logon is needed to ensure all users can be assigned unique identifiers as we begin using common information systems across UNC Health Care such as our integrated Learning Management System and Epic@UNC.

Beginning June 17, UNC Health Care’s IT team will implement a new standardized login ID format across UNC Health Care for all new users. The new format is the letter ‘u’ followed by a 5 digit number, sequentially generated (i.e. u96987). The new format is called the “uID.” Note that everyone with a login prior to June 17, 2013, can keep their current logon ID.

View the full details and a list of frequently asked questions below and in this document.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the overall strategy?
    UNC Health Care Information Technology leaders  are actively implementing changes to (1) Reduce the number of logon IDs and passwords you have to remember, and (2) reduce the number of times you have to enter them into a computer screen to gain access to an application. We are analyzing every UNC Health Care application to see if it can be modified to use a central logon ID and password database, thereby reducing the number of UNC Health Care passwords you have to remember.

    You will still have multiple logon IDs and passwords for University systems (that require ONYEN), systems enabled by professional organizations and colleagues outside of the UNC Health Care, and systems for personal use like online banking, online travel reservations, and online retail companies.

  2. Why are we changing the logon ID standard?
    Currently, there are at least three different logon ID standards that are being used across Chatham Hospital, High Point Regional, UNC Hospitals and UNC Faculty Physicians, UNC Physicians Network, and Rex Healthcare. The strategy is to move to one standard to enable access for all users across the UNC Health Care System to our enterprise-wide systems. We sought one standard that enabled unique identification of our computer users, was impervious to change and would endure the test of time. The new format, ‘u’ + 5 digits, meets those criteria.

  3. What’s special about the letter ‘u’? What happens after you issue the 99,999th logon ID (u99999)?
    The letter ‘u’ serves as a ‘handle’ for the logon ID. When talking to the Help Desk about an access problem, the reference to your ‘u’ number or your ‘uID’ simplifies identification. The letter ‘u’ starts the phrase unique universal user identifier. The next user after we issue uID u99999, will receive uID u100000. At that time, the uID length will increase to ‘u’ plus 6 digits. UNC Health Care's information systems should have no trouble handling this change.

  4. Why wasn’t first initial + 7 letters of last name chosen as the standard?
    There are a lot of common names. In addition, IT faces continual requests for Logon ID changes due to name changes. When a logon ID changes, it triggers a manual effort that can take up to four hours to find all the systems in which the logon ID exists and change it. This process is prone to error and also disruptive for the user. Furthermore, when a logon ID changes, it damages the integrity of user activity logs that we are required to keep for regulatory purposes.

  5. I am getting married in October and plan to change my name. Can I change my logon ID in October to reflect my new married name?
    We will only be changing logon IDs to the new standard, not to another name.  If you decide to change your logon ID you will be issued a uID (u12345).

  6. What about employee ID number? That’s unique. Why not use it?
    It is very important to have a logon ID standard that associates a computer user with their logon ID for life. There are several reasons that eliminate the use of employee identification number as a standard for logon ID.  Not all computer users are employees and therefore are not issued employee ID numbers. 

    Each entity (Chatham, UNC Hospitals, UNC School of Medicine, etc.) manages its own employees through different HR departments and systems. The possibility exists that a person at Chatham Hospital could have the same employee identifier as a person at Rex or a health care entity we acquire in the future.  It is also possible for a person to leave the health system, return and be issued a new employee Id number, or to move from a Rex Healthcare position to a UNC Hospitals’ position and receive a new employee ID number. Finally, many employee IDs are 7 digits long, which is longer than the 5 digit number that we are appending to the letter ‘u’ for the new standard.

  7. When I log in to Rex Healthcare systems, my employee number is part of my logon ID. Is this going to change?
    No. Your logon ID will remain the same. Our focus for this change is on new computer users joining UNC Health Care. However, if you still possess a firstinitial+lastname and it is common (i.e. jsmith) you will be issued a new uID (unnnnn) if another jsmith exists somewhere else in the UNCHCS.

  8. What about ‘P’ number or the national provider identifier physicians use for billing?  Were these options considered?
    Yes, both were evaluated.  Individuals assigned a ‘P’ number represent only a small group of computer users, and the ‘P’ numbers change under certain circumstances.  Often, computer users who are assigned ‘P’ numbers need access to our systems before they are assigned a ‘P’ number.  With respect to the national provider identifier (NPI), these are published on the Internet which is not a good idea for logon IDs.

  9. I log on to WebCIS with my ‘P’ number and I logon onto my hospital email with my hospital network ID (i.e. ajackson). Are these affected?
    No, they are not affected.  You will keep your hospital network ID (i.e. ajackson). Only new employees will get the new format. WebCIS IDs are not affected by this change. 

  10. I log on to WebCIS with my ‘P’ number and I do not have a UNC Hospitals hospital network ID. How will this change affect me?
    WebCIS IDs are not affected by this change.  At some point in the future, if you need a hospital network ID to access UNC Health Care information systems, you will be issued a uID (unnnnn).

  11. Can I use this new logon ID to access my SOM email and calendar?
    No.  This change does not include or affect the UNC–Chapel Hill information systems such as SOM email and calendaring.  Anything you access using an ONYEN ID is not impacted.

  12. When will my logon ID change to the new format?
    If you already have a logon ID, it will not change unless you are among about 2% of the computer users across Chatham Hospital, UNC Hospitals, UNC Physicians Network, Rex Healthcare and UNC Faculty Physician who have a logon ID that matches someone else’s.  If you have a logon ID identical to someone else’s, you will be contacted by email and phone explaining the change and providing you with your new logon ID, between now and July 1, 2013. If you are not contacted between now and July 1, 2013, you can keep your current logon ID.

  13. If this change will not affect me, why the communication?
    Communication is important. You may be a supervisor or a co-worker of someone who will show up in your unit after new employee orientation with a logon ID of u87894. This new colleague will need guidance on accessing the applications he/she needs to do her job. If you are familiar with the new standard, you will not be surprised when you provide your department orientation and training.

A new email address formatting standard - firstname.lastname@domain

Beginning June 17, UNC Health Care’s IT team will implement a new standardized email address standard across UNC Health Care for all new users. Note that everyone with an existing email address at any UNC Health Care entity can keep their current email address – the new address will be mapped automatically to your current address.

However, the outgoing address on all messages after June 17 will reflect the new email address. For example, outgoing email address on messages will read “john.smith@unch.unc.edu” instead of “jsmith@unch.unc.edu.”

This change does not affect future co-workers at High Point Regional, Rex Healthcare, UNC Physicians Network, or Pardee Hospital since these entities all already use the firstname.lastname@... formatting standard.

Users at UNC Hospitals, UNC Faculty Physicians and Chatham Hospital (where we do not currently use the firstname.lastname@...) do not have to make any changes when the new email formatting standard goes into effect. View the full details and a list of frequently asked questions below and in this document.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why are we changing the email address standard?
    Rex Healthcare, UNC Physicians Network, High Point Regional, and Pardee Hospital all already use a good practice of making the email address the firstname.lastname of the mailbox holder.  It is easier for email recipients to identify the sender.  And we want outgoing email from UNC Health Care users to be consistent.

  2. Do I need to log on to email with a different log on ID?
    No. If you have an email address prior to June 17, 2013, you can use your same logon ID and password. The change for prior users is aesthetic more than anything.

  3. Do I need to tell other people with whom I communicate that my email address is changing?
    No. Your new format will be mapped to the old format automatically. However, your outgoing email address on your messages will read John.Pastor@unch.unc.edu instead of jpastor@unch.unc.edu.

  4. I use UNC School of Medicine email.  How does this impact me?
    This change does not impact UNC School of Medicine email. The change is being made to the email format at all other UNC Health Care entities.

  5. What if I do not want to use my full name in my new email address?
    All new email addresses will be created using the full name listed in the HR system. If you wish to switch from this legal name (“William”) to your preferred name (“Will”), you can contact the Help Desk at your location and they can help process that change.

  6. What will happen if multiple co-workers share the same name?
    If there are colleagues named "Jason Smith" at UNC Hospitals, Rex, and Chatham, then one person would be "jason.smith@...", the next would receive "jason.smith2@...", and the third would be "jason.smith3@..."

  7. When will this change be made?
    New UNC Health Care employees will see the new email format starting June 17, 2013. All existing UNC Health Care email users will see the format change by the end of July. A date for Chatham email users has not yet been set.

  8. If this change will not affect me, why the communication?
    Communication is important. You may be able to use the new email formatting standard to more easily find email addresses of colleagues.