The Franciscan Health System, which operates Vashon’s largest health clinic, recently introduced an urgent care service open to anyone in the state.
Franciscan Virtual Urgent Care offers health care services 24 hours a day, seven days a week via telephone or video chat on smartphone, tablet or PC, according to Scott Robinson, a spokesman for the Franciscan
“We think this is a way to offer more affordable, convenient care,” he said.
The service is intended for common complaints, such as a colds, an upset stomach, respiratory infections and rashes, Robinson said. More serious care still calls for in-person treatment, he stressed.
“If you’re having chest pains or bleeding, go to the ER or somewhere you can get proper care,” he said.
Patients who use the new service will have access to board-certified doctors and nurse practitioners for medical diagnosis, treatment planning and prescriptions, if appropriate.
Health insurance does not cover virtual care, so patients are charged directly. The cost is $35, Robinson said, and that will be reimbursed if the health provider determines that an in-person visit is needed.
This virtual service was first offered to Franciscan employees as a benefit, Robinson said, and 92 percent of them reported satisfaction with it.
The service will not affect after-hours care at the Franciscan clinic on Vashon in any way, he said, and patients of the service do not need to use Franciscan services at its clinics or hospitals.
For more information on Franciscan Virtual Urgent Care, visit www.franciscancarenow.org or call (855) 356-8053.