The doctor is in: Medical kiosk open at City Hall

MedicalKioskDon’t want to take time away from work to see a doctor? Not a problem. If you’re covered under one of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) health insurance plans, you can now get expert medical advice without even leaving City Hall.

In an effort to make it more convenient than ever for City employees to access medical care, the Kansas City Health Care Trust, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, have partnered with Mosaic Life Care to bring expert medical advice directly to City Hall.

It’s called mobile kiosk telemedicine, and it’s the next generation in health care: a way to connect patients with medical professionals, all without the hassle of leaving the office and driving to appointments, making it easier than ever for you to take care of yourself. City officials believe it could be the best way to potentially reach employees who would otherwise go undiagnosed and untreated.

“The Kansas City Health Care Trust is offering the medical kiosk to employees because we understand their lives are busy and are only getting busier,” says City Councilman John A. Sharp, Board chair for the Trust. “It’s an excellent choice for making it easier on employees when they are sick. Not only is it convenient, but it is also affordable, with no copays or deductibles. Employees do not have to pay a thing to receive care.”

This medical kiosk, which opened on July 1, is available to City of Kansas City, Mo., employees, their spouses and dependents ages 18 and older, who are enrolled in one of the City’s Blue KC health plans. If that describes you, then you will be able to talk to a doctor or nurse practitioner on a computer monitor for no deductible and no copay—all without ever leaving City Hall.

Located on the 8th Floor of City Hall, the medical kiosk operates during regular business hours, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, which means that during the workday you can see a provider online for a range of issues including minor illnesses and injuries, symptoms from a chronic medical condition and even general health and wellness concerns.

Mobile medicine

At the medical kiosk, you’ll be greeted by a registered nurse, who then notifies the provider (doctor or nurse practitioner) that a patient is at the kiosk. The nurse then reviews your medical history, symptoms and obtains vitals. Within 30 minutes, the virtual provider will 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.

“Personal touch is still very important in this technology age,” says Jill Monroe, City Wellness Program Manager. “Having a registered nurse there to triage patients prior to the physician coming online is a great component of the medical kiosk. The nurse will be able to provide more in-depth education to patients, so that they fully understand what their care should be; go over potential preventative measures that patients could take to help prevent the issue from reoccurring; and be someone to come to for follow-up, if necessary.”

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 kiosk site, and the visit generally takes 10 to 15 minutes.

“The medical kiosk ties in nicely with the many other health initiatives the City offers,” Sharp says, including the KC Health Care Trust Employee Clinic located at the City Health Department. “It’s a great complement to the Employee Clinic, which offers immunizations, annual and school physicals, blood draws and other medical services that the kiosk does not provide.”

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.