Swedish is now running a program that allows patients to have same-day access to healthcare from their homes, offices or even hotels. This is a first for a hospital group in the Pacific Northwest.
It's part of a new program called Express Care at Home and allows nurse practitioners to visit patients in the greater Seattle area for exams, diagnoses and some prescriptions.
The program recently helped Neda Sedghi when she became ill. The mother of two works at home and is constantly busy keeping up with her children and husband.
"I thought it was great," says Sedghi. "I was super sick and it was also after school, so the kids were home with me. Wanting to get out of the house to make an appointment, sit through traffic, take the kids with me would have been really difficult."
Sedghi says a provider came to her home with the same devices and equipment one might find in a traditional medical office. However, instead of fighting traffic, she was able to get a diagnosis in less than an hour.
The visit was also covered by insurance.
"The fact that it's covered by insurance just as it would be by visiting the doctor yourself makes it sort of a no brainer in my mind," says Farshid Sedghi, Neda's husband.
The program is already up and running in California but Swedish officials expect this to grow quickly in Seattle, especially now that summer is over. With cold and flu season upon us, Swedish expects more people to use any of its new services, including Express Care for Home, Express Care Virtual and Express Care Clinics. The virtual service is a telemedicine service that provides visits for minor illnesses via smartphone, tablet or computer. The Express Care clinics are walk-in health clinics embedded in various Walgreens locations and standalone sites.
Swedish believes having more convenient access to healthcare is a more modern-day approach to reaching patients.