April 29, 2020
Cheyenne, WY—Cheyenne Regional Medical Center is now offering virtual visits to its emergency department for patients with symptoms of COVID-19 or who need emergency care for non-life-threatening conditions.
Community members can use a smartphone or computer or tablet with video capability to log into the site at cheyenneregional.org/virtualED. After logging in, the patient will be registered and placed briefly in a virtual waiting room while the emergency department clinician connects to the site.
“We are providing this virtual, or telehealth, option specifically for Laramie County residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 and would like to be assessed from home,” said CRMC’s Emergency Department Medical Director Jessica Hughes, MD. “But we are also inviting Laramie County residents to use this option if they have other emergency medical needs that are not life-threatening.”
A telehealth visit with CRMC’s emergency department includes a secure face-to-face video assessment by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.
“A telehealth assessment can determine if the patient’s condition can be managed safely at home or if the patient needs to come to the emergency department to be evaluated in person,” Hughes said.
Patients who have symptoms of COVID-19 and who use the virtual option may also be referred for a test at CRMC’s drive-through clinic, depending on the outcome of the medical evaluation.
“While we do have more testing capacity for COVID-19 right now, a referral to our drive-through testing site will still depend on our clinical evaluation and the hospital’s available resources,” Hughes said.
Hughes cautions that a virtual emergency department visit is not appropriate for people with life-threatening conditions.
“Anyone in an emergency situation, which would include a heart attack, stroke or diabetic emergency, should call 911 right away,” Hughes said.
Patients who come to CRMC’s emergency department within 24 hours of a virtual visit and who are seeking care for the same issue will only be billed for the in-person visit.
“By offering virtual visits we are trying to ensure people with COVID-19 symptoms have ready access to emergency medical assessment and care,” Hughes said. “It’s also a way to help people who may be feeling nervous about leaving home to seek emergent care.”