Modern medicine goes mobile

MobileKiosk2_477454975Think of it as a new twist on the old house call, only at work. In an effort to make it more convenient than ever to have access to medical care, the KC Health Care Trust is planning to bring expert advice right to City Hall.

It’s called mobile kiosk telemedicine and is the newest way to have your medical needs met without the hassle of appointments, drive time or waiting rooms. The Mobile Tele-Doc kiosk by Mosaic Life Care telemedicine will be provided to City employees by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. If you are covered under any of the City’s Blue Cross plans, you will be able to talk to a doctor or advanced nurse practitioner on a computer monitor for no deductible and no copay.

More details will be available as plans are finalized, but this service will likely be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. During the regular workday, you’ll be able to see a provider online for a range of issues, such as minor illnesses and injuries, symptoms from a chronic condition and even general health and wellness concerns.

At the kiosk, you’ll be greeted by a nurse, who will notify the provider (doctor or nurse practitioner) of a patient visit. The nurse will then review your medical history, symptoms and obtain vitals. Within 30 minutes, the virtual provider will appear on the monitor and perform a physical assessment with the nurse’s facilitation. The provider can diagnose, treat and even write or call-in prescriptions. If more information is needed, the provider can also schedule a follow-up visit, test or other treatment for you.

All Mosaic Life Care providers are local—licensed in the state of Missouri—and Mosaic uses secure technology to transmit images and dialogue. The provider is available within 30 minutes of the patient presenting at the mobile kiosk site and the visit generally takes 10 to 15 minutes.

Why use telemedicine?

Telemedicine allows for reliable and convenient visits with trained and certified providers. Some reasons to use the telemedicine kiosk include:

  • I feel like I should probably see a doctor, but can’t really fit it into my over-booked schedule.
  • I’m travelling tomorrow and can’t get away from work.
  • I don’t have transportation today.
  • My doctor’s office is closed and I don’t want to go to an urgent care clinic or hospital.
  • I just moved and don’t know any doctors in my area.

Conditions appropriate for treatment via telemedicine:

  • Mild asthma
  • Minor headaches
  • Sprains, strains
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Bumps, cuts, scrapes
  • Burning with urination
  • Coughs, sore throat, ear and sinus pain
  • Eye swelling, irritation, redness or pain
  • Minor allergic reactions
  • Minor fevers, colds
  • Rashes, minor burns
  • Back pain
  • Chronic medical conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.)

Conditions not appropriate for treatment via telemedicine:

Telemedicine is not for emergencies. Telemedicine treatment should not be requested for any serious or life-threatening condition, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts or any of the following situations:

  • Seizure
  • Chest pain
  • Neurological symptoms suggesting a stroke
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Sudden bleeding
  • Choking or gagging
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea
  • Head injury
  • Possible broken bones
  • Severe headache
  • Severe pain
  • Cancer
  • Patients who want to hurt themselves
  • Patients who want to hurt others
  • Schizophrenia or hallucinations

For the above symptoms or any other serious medical concerns, you should call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room.