HCN News & Notes

Trinity Health Of New England Offers Virtual Care Appointments

SPRINGFIELD — While the coronavirus crisis has presented many challenges for communities and hospitals, it has served to spur the growth of some services, such as telemedicine. Mercy Medical Center in Springfield offers a Virtual Care service, which allows patients to consult online with pediatricians as well as primary-care and urgent-care providers.

“We want to provide patients with a safe, secure, and simple way to receive non-emergency care,” said Dr. Reginald Eadie, president and CEO of Trinity Health Of New England and its affiliates. “The COVID-19 outbreak underscored the value of Virtual Care, which we plan to continue and potentially expand upon over time.”

Patients who wish to access Virtual Care can do so online at trinityhealthofne.org/virtual. All patient information is encrypted and protected. There are three options:

• E-mail: Patients complete an online health questionnaire regarding their concern. A provider reviews the information and e-mails back a treatment plan. If a prescription is needed, the provider sends one to the patient’s designated pharmacy. Providers respond within an hour during regular office hours, or the next morning if the request is submitted after hours. If the issue can’t be addressed online, patients are not charged and can schedule an in-person appointment.

• Virtual Visit: Patients schedule a virtual visit with a provider at the Trinity Health Of New England location of their choice. A computer or smart device is needed, but no additional software is required. Patients receive a secure link to activate their visit, and communicate in real time with the provider.

• COVID-19 E-mail: Patients who are concerned they may have coronavirus symptoms complete an online health interview and receive a response, within an hour during regular office hours, with guidance for next steps based on their answers.

“Virtual Care provides a convenient option for patients who may find it challenging to come in for an appointment, either because they are elderly, lack transportation, have a sick child, are at work, or are trying to practice social distancing,” said Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center. “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to consult with their primary-care provider, their child’s pediatrician, or a specialist — from wherever they are.”

Trinity Health Of New England’s Virtual Care provider hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. COVID-19 screenings are available free of charge.