Enloe opens Virtual Emergency Department - Service enables people to speak with a nurse and remotely visit a doctor

04.15.2020

CHICO, Calif., April 15, 2020 – To ensure that urgent health care needs for local residents are being met at this time, Enloe today launched a Virtual Emergency Department. The service connects community members with an Enloe nurse, and if needed, an Emergency Department physician. The nurses can also answer questions about COVID-19 symptoms.

“We created this service because we believe that people who would normally seek care in the Emergency Department could benefit from access to medical care without leaving their homes,” said Judy Cline, RN, director of Enloe’s Emergency Department, Prompt Care, and Trauma Services. “We don’t want people who may need professional medical care to suffer with illness or minor injuries. It’s absolutely important that people continue to receive the emergency care they need at this time.”

The service is available by calling (530) 332-9540 and choosing option 2. Enloe nurses staff this line seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and they return any messages left outside of those hours. A nurse will speak with a caller and provide guidance as to whether they need in-person or virtual visit with a physician. A virtual visit with a physician can be done via the Zoom app or by phone. Option 1 provides recorded information and resources related to COVID-19.

“The Virtual Emergency Department is intended for people with urgent care needs or for those who aren’t sure if they need to be seen here,” Cline adds. “Anyone with life-threatening symptoms should immediately call 911.” Examples of life-threatening symptoms include chest pain, extreme shortness of breath, sudden numbness or loss of coordination, serious head injury, burns or uncontrolled bleeding and severe pain.

Everyone coming to the hospital is screened before entry. Enloe has separate triage and waiting areas for emergency patients with respiratory symptoms, and the Emergency Department also has separate units to care for patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Dedicated, separate respiratory units are also in place for those admitted to the hospital.

Illness and injuries that can start with a Virtual Emergency Department visit include flu, cold, sore throat, bronchitis, ear ache, cuts, skin rash or infection, sprain, strain or concern of a possible fracture. The service can also assist with medication refills for non-controlled substances.

Enloe will bill insurance for virtual visits with a physician, but the initial phone call with the nurses is provided at no charge to patients. More information about Enloe’s Virtual Emergency Department is available at www.enloe.org.

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Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call (530) 332-7300 or visit us online at www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif.  95926.

 



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