In today’s world, health care organizations must be prepared to move beyond traditional care delivery approaches, such as doctor’s offices and walk-in clinics, and develop services consumers can easily access wherever and whenever they need them.
MultiCare first began offering virtual care services to the communities we serve in 2015. In 2018, we added additional services to further help patients access care without having to come to a doctor’s office or clinic.
Once upon a time, getting a house call from your doctor was not unheard of. It’s been many years since this was the case. But MultiCare, in partnership with DispatchHealth, is working to change that with a new house call service that launched in Tacoma and Pierce County.
Two-person medical teams comprised of an emergency-medicine-trained physician assistant or nurse practitioner, as well as a medical technician, provide on-demand care seven days a week, from 8am to 10pm, for patients living in Tacoma or Pierce County.
While available to anyone seeking care, MultiCare’s primary focus with introducing a house call service to the community was to help elderly patients, patients who don’t drive or have access to reliable transportation and patients who may have to be re-admitted to the hospital if they don’t receive immediate care.
The service started running in December 2018 and by the end of the year had already served over 100 patients.
Virtual OB and Virtual Menopause Care
MultiCare added two additional virtual care services for women in 2018: An updated Virtual OB Visits program and Virtual Menopause Care.
The Virtual OB care program alternates between scheduled virtual visits with a MultiCare nurse practitioner (ARNP) via computer and scheduled visits with a MultiCare obstetrician at their office.
A Virtual Menopause visit allows women to talk to a nurse practitioner from the comfort of their home or office via user-friendly video chat. Women do not have to be a current MultiCare patient to have a virtual appointment for menopause care.
Both services utilize the video visit features of MyChart, the secure patient portal connected to MultiCare’s electronic health record, and give women more flexibility in how they get care during these two very important times in their lives.