An ache, a pain, something gone sore?
Tacoma-based MultiCare is offering a new service for patients with not-so-severe complaints. If you’d like to see a doctor but you don’t want to go to a doctor’s office — there’s a fresh app for that.
MultiCare announced Tuesday that it had inked a partnership agreement with Doctor On Demand, a service that offers real-time, face-to-face video access to a board certified physician.
“We know that patients are looking for more convenient ways to get care,” said Clair Spain-Remy, MultiCare chief physician officer.
The Doctor On Demand service is available statewide, and is being offered exclusively in Washington by MultiCare. The charge is $40 per visit.
Although physicians are credentialed through MultiCare, Spain-Remy said, they may be located out of the area.
The service is accessible through digital platforms including computers, smartphones and tablets. To connect with a physician, patients can visit multicaredoctorondemand.com to initiate a visit or to download the Doctor On Demand app on a smartphone or tablet.
Callers will be pre-screened to identify the specific health complaint, and a physician will come online within 90 seconds, according to a MultiCare news release. The physician will diagnose the problem, and can send a prescription to a local pharmacy if appropriate. If the condition is serious, the physician might advise that the patient seek immediate care at a clinic or an emergency room.
Among the conditions likely to be assessed, MultiCare said, are colds and flu, sore throat, headaches, urinary tract infections, sports injuries, travel issues, skin rashes, intestinal distress and eye conditions.
The service will address issues from adults, seniors and children.
All visits will be documented within Multicare’s system of electronic medical records so that a patient’s primary physician can be aware of the online visit.
“We expect there will be a great demand,” Spain-Remy said. “As more and more people have insurance, there is a pent-up demand for care.”
The service will be available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. The physicians who answer the calls likely will have specialties including family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics, depending on the nature of the complaint.
“In a lot of ways, it helps to triage conditions that do not require (urgent care),” Spain-Remy said.
And as an added incentive, for a limited time, the first visit is free.