CLEARWATER, Fla., Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Getting access to high-quality health care can often be a challenge for many patients, but it's not always impossible.
BayCare, a leading health system in Tampa Bay and central Florida regions, uses innovative technology to provide convenient access to affordable and high-quality care for its patients.
"Our goal is to give patients convenient access for the right level of medical care in the right place and at the right time," said Jim Cote, senior vice president for Ambulatory Services at BayCare. "We believe that making access to health care easy and convenient is essential to improving the health and wellness of our community."
BayCare uses innovative technology, telehealth services, community collaborations and multiple convenient urgent care locations to provide access to high-quality care for patients across the region. Some of those services include BayCare Anywhere and HealthNav, Walk-In Care Provided by BayCare, BayCare Urgent Care, BayCare TechDeck and BayCare HealthHub Screening Stations.
Telehealth is the future of health care, and BayCare is leading the way. That's why the not-for-profit organization created two mobile applications including BayCare Anywhere and HealthNav.
"Telehealth provides great access to care to those who are not able to see their medical provider," said Jose Santana Jr., MD, medical director for Telehealth at BayCare. "Whether it's transportation or too late in the evening, patients can see a doctor whenever they want at the comfort of their own home."
BayCare Anywhere is a 24/7 non-emergency telemedicine service offering virtual visits through a smartphone, tablet or computer. This mobile app, which launched in 2016, uses secure, interactive video and audio communications to help patients connect to board-certified physicians live and in real-time from home, work or traveling.
Through BayCare Anywhere, physicians have the ability to diagnose common conditions or illnesses such as sinus pain, cough, flu or cold, low grade fever, pink eye and skin rashes for adults and children two years and older. After each visit, prescriptions (if needed) are electronically submitted to a patient's preferred pharmacy.
BayCare also created HealthNav, a free mobile app that can help guide people with non-urgent conditions to convenient and quality medical services.
Through HealthNav, patients can find the closest BayCare emergency room, make an appointment for an office visit, see a doctor through a virtual visit, reserve a visit at a nearby BayCare Urgent Care and receive directions and contact information for their desired location.
Walk-in Care Provided By BayCare at Publix
BayCare teamed up with Publix in 2017 to launch Walk-In Care Provided by BayCare, an innovative telehealth technology available at select Publix Supermarkets across the Tampa Bay area.
The telehealth kiosk features a private room where shoppers can receive non-urgent medical care from board-certified physicians through teleconferencing and medical diagnostic equipment.
The kiosk, which is interactive and user-friendly, allows patients to easily enter their symptoms through a touchscreen and work with medical tools such as thermometers, dermatoscopes, otoscopes, pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuffs and high definition cameras to help doctors make an accurate diagnosis.
"Walk-In Care is designed to bring health care access to people that are shopping at Publix," said Jeffrey Held, MD, vice president and chief medical officer for Ambulatory Division at BayCare. "This service helps complement people's day, so they don't have to go out of their way to make an appointment for something that can be addressed fairly easy with this technology."
For added convenience, if the diagnosis results in getting a prescription, the Publix pharmacy can quickly prepare the prescription to get the patients on their way to recovery.
BayCare HealthHub Screening Stations
BayCare also partnered with Publix to install 115 BayCare HealthHub Screening Stations at Publix stores in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties. The self-service technology provides shoppers with free health information, including blood pressure, pulse, weight and body mass index.
BayCare Urgent Care
BayCare is also the leading health system in the region to provide 15 urgent care locations throughout the Tampa Bay area. BayCare Urgent Care offers quick, high quality health care for adults and children ages two and older.
"We provide a total care experience including X-rays, laboratories, EKGs and dispensing of certain medications," said Nathan Keith Waldrep, MD, director – chief medical officer at BayCare Urgent Care. "We treat medical conditions without prior appointment including minor illnesses and injuries, flu and colds, sprains and strains, minor cuts, stings and burns."
BayCare Urgent Care also offers school and sports physicals and occupational health services including post-hire physicals, drug screenings, treatment of workplace injuries, vaccinations and corporate wellness.
To enhance patient experience, BayCare Urgent Care allows visitors to schedule their appointments online through Save Your Spot.
BayCare is the first health system in the region to introduce TechDeck™, an innovative resource for health and wellness technology.
TechDeck provides advanced and high-tech products including weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, wearable technology and various apps that can be connected to personal digital devices.
TechDeck products, which are available to any community members in the Tampa Bay area, allow patients to monitor the status of their health including blood pressure, weight fluctuations and daily steps.
As challenges in health care continue to rise, BayCare's goal is to create innovative ways to provide convenient access to high-quality, compassionate care for its community.
"We don't just want to treat symptoms, but we also want to help keep families healthier," Cote said. "Our goal is to develop relationships with our patients and become partners in their health and wellness. And we hope these types of services helps us do just that."