Kaiser Permanente Northwest makes care more convenient with urgent care video visits

PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting this month, Kaiser Permanente Northwest members can save themselves a trip to urgent care by instead talking to a doctor via video, at a time and place that are most convenient for them. The urgent care video visits are available to members for no copay.

"When people are sick or injured, it can be hard for them to get to a medical office, and particularly during flu season they may want to avoid sitting in a waiting room with others who are sick," said Rahul Rastogi, M.D., chief operations officer of Kaiser Permanente Northwest's physician group, Northwest Permanente. "Like our other virtual care offerings, the goal of urgent care video visits is to make it easier for people to get care for themselves and their families. We don't want people to delay or avoid seeking care simply because they can't make the trip to the doctor."

Members can schedule urgent care video appointments online at kp.org and conduct the call using either their smartphone or a desktop or laptop computer. The urgent care doctors have access to members' electronic medical record (EMR), so they are connected to a complete picture of their health. The video visit details are then documented in the patients' medical records for future reference. Urgent care doctors can also refer patients to a specialty care doctor, order X-rays and tests, and prescribe medication.

Members can also choose to schedule urgent care telephone appointments. Urgent care video and telephone visits are ideal for nonemergency conditions such as:

Colds and flu
Allergies and asthma
Rashes and sunburns
Bug bites
Minor cuts
Minor breaks
Urinary tract infections

Virtual care is a way to get care and manage health through the convenience of a mobile device or computer. Kaiser Permanente Northwest offers members a number of virtual care options, including:

Making appointments online
Emailing and sending photographs to their doctor
Scheduled telephone visits with their doctor
Mobile and online access to their lab tests and doctor's notes
Reordering prescriptions online
Managing their electronic medical record online
Specialty video visits, including:

Speech therapy  
Wound care 
Mental health  

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and nonprofit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 10 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, including more than 520,000 medical and 240,000 dental members in Oregonand Southwest Washington. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, dentists, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical and dental teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: http://www.kp.org/share.

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