Kevin Cody

At home virtual physical exams offered by Providence Little Company of Mary

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Family Nurse Practitioner Sonia Luckey consults with a patient over the Providence Express Care Virtual online service. Photo courtesy of Providence Little Company of Mary

by Kevin Cody

Individuals who fear they may have the novel coronavirus can be examined in their home by a board certified nurse practitioner from Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital. The exams are offered online at Virtual.Providence.Org.

Providence Express Care Virtual has been available in California since last summer for a fee of $49 or through insurance. But as a result of a State decree, coronavirus exams are free, according to Providence Express Care Virtual Family Nurse Practitioner Sonia Luckey.

The online medical examinations are available everyday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Luckey said the service has experienced “exponential growth” since the arrival of the coronavirus.

Upon logging on to the site, patients are asked to create an account and answer questions about their condition. They are then connected to a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, who listens to the patient’s concerns, visually examines the patient using their desktop monitor, tablet or smartphone, and advises them on how to care for themselves. 

The medical examiners are authorized to issue prescriptions and if the patient is traveling, locate a nearby pharmacy or urgent care clinic. The medical examiner can also send medical excusal letters to employers.

In addition to the visual online medical exams, Providence offers a chat bot service where patients are asked questions to access whether or not they are at risk of having the coronavirus. Those thought to be at risk are referred to a clinic or to Providence’s virtual online exam service. The chat box link is Providence.org ER

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