LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2020) – To help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure patient safety, UK HealthCare has launched a new telemedicine program to help patients with acute-onset symptoms they would like to discuss with a health care provider.
UK HealthCare Telecare will function similarly to an urgent care clinic, making it easy for patients with acute-onset symptoms like sore throat, fever, cough, congestion, respiratory problems and more to get expert care without leaving home.
“To help slow down the spread of COVID-19, our leaders are asking everyone to stay home as much as possible,” said Dr. Mark Newman, University of Kentucky executive vice president for health affairs. “We know that doesn’t mean people will stop getting sick. We launched UK HealthCare Telecare so that people still have access to treatment for everyday illnesses without needing to leave their home.”
Using telehealth technology, patients will set up a visit with a UK HealthCare advanced practice provider or physician with Zoom, a web-based videoconferencing platform that is compliant with HIPAA regulations. The process is similar to Apple’s popular “Facetime” video calling. Telecare visits require access to a device with a camera – like a smartphone, tablet or computer – along with access to an internet connection and an active email account.
When patients call to arrange an appointment, staff will go through what equipment they need, gather information, and send an email with a link and applicable forms for the visit. Once patients click the link, they’ll be taken to a “virtual waiting room” to be seen by a health care provider. Visits are first-come, first-serve, and wait times will vary depending on demand.
For many patients, the virtual visit will be all they need. During the appointment, the healthcare provider will determine whether the patient should next be seen face-to-face or receive any lab tests.
UK HealthCare Telecare is staffed by an integrated team of board-certified providers throughout Family and Community Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
“We are excited to provide excellent and convenient care while keeping individuals at home,” said Dr. Roberto Cardarelli, chair of UK HealthCare Family & Community Medicine and associate chief medical officer for population health. “We are committed to keeping patients, healthcare providers and the community safe during the ongoing pandemic.”
Appointments through UK HealthCare Telecare are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Though it is not required, if you have access to the following, have it ready for your virtual appointment:
- Blood pressure cuff
- Most recent blood glucose reading (for patients with diabetes)
- Most recent weight (if the visit is for a child)
To make an appointment with UK HealthCare Telecare, get started by calling 1-833-739-0225.