PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Medicine at your finger-tips with no need for in-person doctor visits is how virtual medicine is helping to make getting care quick and easy.
Penn Medicine has opened a center for connected care, creating a big new telemedicine hub that is one of the largest in the country.
Telemedicine is how nurse practitioner Leslie Moore does a virtual urgent care visit.
Instead of going to see a doctor in person, people can get checked out via a phone or computer.
“We get everything from rashes to GI viruses to muscle pain, back pain,” Moore said.
Moore added that patients are “very happy w the service” because it’s “very convenient” and “saves them time.”
She also said, “They can call me from anywhere.”
The urgent care service is just one component of Penn’s new center for connected care.
“This is a really new type of medicine,” Dr. Krisda Chaiyachati said. “We have staff who have become specialists in telemedicine, so they’re able to focus on the best way to deliver patient-centered care.”
Dr. Chaiyachati says there are 50 full-time employees at the center that operates around the clock.
Penn E-lert is also here, where 250 critical care beds are continually monitored.
“This really provides another set of eyes and another way to get to the patients before something bad happens,” Dr. Chaiyachati said.
The center also does remote monitoring for over 160 at-risk patients after they’re hospitalized in an effort to reduce re-admissions.
“We’re trying to use it as the new tools of the 21st century for us to figure out how best to meet patient needs and prevent them from getting ill in the first place,” Dr. Chaiyachati said.
And the center also handles specialty services that cover things like dermatology, sleep medicine and links obstetricians to trauma surgeons caring for critically injured pregnant women.
Right now, the urgent care calls are only available to Penn employees but will eventually be rolled out to others.