Providence Health launches telemedicine service

Providence Health & Services, a multi-state health system, recently launched a telemedicine service for Washington state residents.

The Renton, Wash.-based health system offers its Health eXpress program through an app where patients can request video conferences with physicians or nurse practitioners. Providers can address minor concerns such as flu, ear pain, allergies and digestive issues through the service and prescribe some medication at a cost of $39 per visit, according to the Bellingham Herald.

Approximately 60 percent of virtual consultations result in a prescription for antibiotics or other non-narcotic medications that patients can pick up at any pharmacy. Nearly a third of the current visits to the emergency department can be prevented by a telemedicine consultation, according to the report.

Medical professionals see approximately 10 patients per day on the program. The average wait time for an appointment is less than four minutes, and Providence aims to expand the program to a 24-hour service, according to the report. The service is currently available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

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