As part of growing efforts to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Rush University System for Health now offers on-demand video visits for people who are concerned they might be infected. Starting March 4, Rush is adding “concern for coronavirus” to its list of virtual care video visit modules, which also includes cold/cough/flu, sinus infections, minor injuries and more. Video visits allow patients to receive care from Rush providers without needing to go to a doctor’s office.
If patients have symptoms of COVID-19 and have had exposure to the virus, they will be connected with an on-demand video visit provider for a consultation. Symptoms of COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
If a patient is found to be at risk for novel coronavirus, their visit is free. A Rush emergency department provider will assess the patient’s condition and guide them through next steps, including how to come to Rush for care, if needed.
Video visits are part of Rush’s suite of virtual care services
This use of video visits is part of the Rush system’s comprehensive preparations for the possible spread of COVID-19 and to provide quality care to all patients. It also reflects Rush’s commitment to community health and to advancing the use of technology in health care.
“I’m pleased that we are able to offer our community the option of virtual care for situations like this. Our robust virtual care program is a great asset to us, and the work we’ve done to build on-demand video visits over the last year has set us up to react quickly and effectively,” said Dr. Meeta Shah, an emergency medicine physician at Rush University Medical Center who is part of the Rush digital health team.
Rush launched on-demand video visits in August 2019 as part of a larger suite of virtual care services, including E-Visits and virtual second opinion services. Virtual visits help reduce the spread of germs and are an affordable way for patients to receive health care from home or anywhere they need it.
With Rush on-demand virtual visits, patients can receive care from providers for a variety of symptoms, including cold/flu symptoms, cough, urinary tract infection, allergies, sinus problems, rash, sore throat and more. Patients have the option to talk with a provider over secure message through an E-Visit or discuss their health issue face-to-face via a video visit. Anyone can complete a virtual visit at Rush by creating an account with MyChart or the My Rush mobile app.
Virtual care at Rush is part of Rush’s digital transformation initiative — a commitment to bringing the best information and care to Rush patients where and when they want it. Rush has developed advanced tools for its virtual care platforms to support patients and providers alike, and continues to build on these efforts.
Digital services will help guard against an evolving threat
As the threat of coronavirus evolves, Rush will implement additional digital solutions to help patients and the Rush community stay safe. In addition to case tracking and general information on the Rush University Medical Center website and the My Rush app, Rush will also implement symptom tracking tools to help individuals track their condition and allow providers to evaluate them remotely.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials believe that COVID-19 symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure to the virus. Patients who are concerned about novel coronavirus can use Rush’s online self-assessment tool to assess their risk.
If a patient has symptoms of COVID-19 but no exposure to the novel 2019 coronavirus, they are considered not at risk for coronavirus disease 2019 but can still elect to receive care for cough, cold or flu through an E-Visit or video visit, or by making an appointment. Rush also is adding additional screening questions for novel coronavirus to its other virtual visit modules for cough, cold and flu in order to catch possible cases through other channels.
Information About the novel 2019 coronavirus