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Kaiser Permanente Northwest makes care more Convenient

SUBMITTED PHOTO: STEPHEN CRIDLAND - Dr. George Go conducts an urgent-care video visit, which are now available to Kaiser Permanente Northwest members.

The Review, Tidings

Kaiser Permanente Northwest members can now save themselves a trip to urgent care by instead talking to a doctor via video, at a time and place that are most convenient for them. The urgent care video visits are available to members for no copay.

“When people are sick or injured, it can be hard for them to get to a medical office, and particularly during flu season, they may want to avoid sitting in a waiting room with others who are sick,” said Dr. Rahul Rastogi, chief operations officer of Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s physician group, Northwest Permanente. “Like our other virtual care offerings, the goal of urgent care video visits is to make it easier for people to get care for themselves and their families. We don’t want people to delay or avoid seeking care simply because they can’t make the trip to the doctor.”

Members can schedule urgent care video appointments online at kp.org and conduct the call using either their smartphone or a desktop or laptop computer.

Urgent care doctors have access to members’ electronic medical records, so they are connected to a complete picture of patients’ health. Video visit details are added to those records for future reference, and urgent care doctors can also refer patients to a specialty care doctor, order X-rays and tests and prescribe medication.

Members can also choose to schedule urgent care telephone appointments. Urgent care video and telephone visits are ideal for nonemergency conditions such as colds and flu, allergies and asthma, rashes and sunburns, bug bites, minor cuts, minor breaks, sprains and urinary tract infections.

Virtual care is a way to get care and manage health through the convenience of a mobile device or computer.

Kaiser Permanente Northwest offers members a number of virtual care options, including making appointments online, emailing and sending photographs to their doctor, scheduled telephone visits with their doctor, mobile and online access to their lab tests and doctor’s notes, reordering prescriptions online, managing their electronic medical record online and specialty video visits, including dermatology, speech therapy, wound care, mental health and podiatry.

For more information, go to kp.org/share.