Roughly 80% or four out of five urgent care centers provide fracture care in the Unites States, but how many deliver urgent care services virtually? One clinic in Ohio is giving patients a sneak peak into urgent care changes and how urgent care services may be administered in the future.
Patients in Ohio now have 24-hour access to online urgent care consultation thanks to a new partnership between telemedicine vendor American Well and Cleveland Clinic. The MyCare Online services makes Cleveland Clinic the first urgent care clinic in the state to provide electric consultations. American Well provides the software, technology platform, and the board-certified medical professionals to the MyCare Online telemedicine service, which costs patients $49 per consultation.
The hospital’s end goal is fully integrate its providers into the service, while continuing to deliver affordable, convenient care to their patients. Some Cleveland Clinic physicians have already begun to use MyCare Online for virtual post-operation appointments.
Available to anyone in Ohio, MyCare Online can be accessed via a free mobile app called Cleveland Clinic MyCare. The app allows providers to determine the severity of common ailments such as earaches, cold or flu-like symptoms, and rashes through a private and secure video consultation. So far, providers using the MyCare virtual platform have been able to diagnose and treat a variety of acute health symptoms and illnesses, including urinary tract infections, abdominal pain, fever, and headaches. When necessary, providers can even send an electronic prescription directly to the patient’s pharmacy.
MyCare Online “makes the geographical location and time of day a patient needs care largely irrelevant,” said Peter Rasmussen, M.D., a neurosurgeon and medical director for distance health at Cleveland Clinic. “It’s tremendously more convenient, because people can be seen from home or work. For certain conditions, there’s no need to drive anywhere.”
MyCare Online isn’t the first virtual care service at Cleveland Clinic that has underscored the advantages of telemedicine technology. The hospital was one of the first in the country to use healthcare kiosks which allowed patients to have convenient access to healthcare providers in retail environments.