CHI Franciscan Health Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Virtual Urgent Care

Successful program to “Skype with your doctor” has saved an estimated $600,000 in health care costs

TACOMA, Wash.--()--Tacoma-based CHI Franciscan Health is celebrating the one-year anniversary of Franciscan Virtual Urgent Care, a health care service that allows patients in Franciscan’s service area to receive care 24/7 via phone, webcam, smartphone, tablet or PC.

In its first year, the Virtual Urgent Care program has attracted hundreds of people from all over the Puget Sound. Patients who have used the service mention the ease, convenience and affordable cost of Virtual Urgent Care as its top benefits. At $35 per visit, Virtual Urgent Care is less than the cost of an average office visit and a fraction of the average cost of an emergency room visit.

“I had an extremely pleasant experience with Franciscan Virtual Urgent Care,” said patient Jeanne Gardner of Federal Way. “The provider was knowledgeable, compassionate, and a great listener. She thoroughly explained the treatment protocol and gave me helpful ideas for treating my symptoms at home. I was able to avoid an emergency room visit, and would highly recommend this service to anyone.”

CHI Franciscan estimates that Virtual Urgent Care has helped patients avoid more than $600,000 in health care costs and saved patients more than 4,200 hours compared to the time and money that would typically be spent seeking care at an emergency department, urgent care or primary care provider or clinic.

“We’re thrilled with the success of Virtual Urgent Care over the past year,” said Mark Adams, MD, chief medical officer, CHI Franciscan Health. “As our health care system becomes more consumer-driven, we’re proud to be among those taking the lead in giving patients more control over how, when and where they access care. It fits perfectly into our mission to create healthier communities in the Puget Sound area.”

One of the first hospital systems in the U.S. to provide wide-scale virtual urgent care services, CHI Franciscan Health has extended its full-spectrum primary care services to the public any time of day, from the comfort of their own home.

Patients using Virtual Urgent Care have access to board-certified doctors and nurse practitioners for after-hours medical diagnosis, prescriptions by telephone or webcam and assistance in setting up doctor’s appointments. CHI Franciscan Health has partnered with Seattle-based Carena to provide virtual urgent care to patients in its service area.

For more information on Franciscan Virtual Urgent Care, visit www.franciscancarenow.org.

CHI Franciscan Health includes St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; Highline Medical Center, Burien; Harrison Medical Center and Harrison HealthPartners, Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas; Regional Hospital, Tukwila; Franciscan Hospice House, University Place; Franciscan Medical Group clinics and providers, Pierce, King and Kitsap counties; and the Franciscan Foundation. Franciscan is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a nonprofit, faith-based health system formed in 1996 through the consolidation of four Catholic health systems. One of the nation’s largest health systems, Englewood, Colo.–based CHI operates in 18 states and comprises 93 hospitals; 24 critical access facilities and other facilities that span the inpatient and outpatient continuum of care. In fiscal year 2013, CHI provided more than $762 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. Learn more at www.chifranciscan.org

Contacts

CHI Franciscan Health
Scott Thompson, 253-382-3858 (office)
Hotline: 253-382-3889
scottthompson@FHShealth.org

Contacts

CHI Franciscan Health
Scott Thompson, 253-382-3858 (office)
Hotline: 253-382-3889
scottthompson@FHShealth.org