Amazon Care delivers on-demand healthcare to Amazon employees and their families from your mobile phone, 24/7. We spoke with Andrea Strid, a nurse practitioner at Care Medical, to understand what patients can expect from their virtual appointments.
Q: So let’s start with what Amazon Care does — what’s the simplest way to explain it?
Strid: Amazon set out to create a healthcare experience where an employee could simply push a button on their device and be connected with a doctor, nurse practitioner, or nurse in minutes. So rather than needing to block out hours of time to get to the doctor, you can simply launch the app and get the care you need from anywhere—your office, your couch, your kitchen table.
Q: Got it. So how does it work?
Once you launch the app, you’re given two options: chat or a video visit.
- The chat function allows you to text in real time with a nurse, who can give advice, information, and home-care suggestions.
- The video option is a virtual care visit that allows for more in-depth exams.
With Video Care, we’re able to speak with the patient and walk them through various self-examinations techniques. For example, we might ask them to tap on their belly or press on a spot where they are experiencing pain.
For select locations, we offer in-person follow-up care and prescription delivery. If during the call we feel an in-person visit is necessary, we can dispatch a mobile care nurse to people's homes in minutes. These mobile units are equipped to do things like rapid-results strep tests, using all COVID-19 safety protocols. And if medication is needed, we can have that delivered right to the patient’s doorstep.
I’m sure you mapped out all sorts of cases for patients. What types of care can they receive currently?
Right now, urgent care for adults and kids, which covers things like minor cuts and scrapes, allergies, cold and flu symptoms, or if you’re having trouble sleeping and managing stress.
Your Care Team members all have a background in family medicine, so chats and video calls can be for adults as well as children. Kids can have these visits from the comfort of their own beds.
Why would I go through the process of changing how I normally seek care?
- Save time. No more phone calls arranging appointments, or commuting to the doctor’s office.
- Reduce unnecessary treatments. If someone needs to wait four to six weeks to see a specialist about neck pain, by the time they get seen, they’re in agony and are getting X-rays, MRIs, and other things like that. But with Care, we can talk immediately after symptoms occur and advise the patient to take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and give some home physical therapy exercises. With earlier interventions, we are able to decrease the length of time that people are in pain.
- Easy follow-ups. If the person has been feeling sick for a couple of days, we can say you might not feel better in two days, but you will probably feel better in five. And if you're not feeling better in seven, call me and we'll reassess to determine the best next steps. There’s no commitment to follow up if you start to feel better, but the ability to check in with a nurse so whenever you need to makes the communication process really flexible.
- Get informed. We’re also a resource for patient education. Sometimes, we'll have people who have been given a diagnosis by another healthcare clinician, but they don't understand it. So we're able to look at those outside records and explain it.
Is using the app as time-intensive as heading to the doctor’s office?
Something that's really unique about Care compared to traditional healthcare is that you have almost an unlimited amount of time with your clinician. So if you have lots of questions or concerns, we have plenty of time to talk; we don't have another person sitting in our waiting room that we need to get to. But if you want to get in and out and ask a quick question, we can accommodate that, too.
The chat function is a great way to ask those questions that may have escaped you during a video call. Sometimes you’re halfway home from an urgent care visit, and you realize that you forgot to mention that you’re taking cholesterol medication. This allows you to reconnect about anything important that springs to mind and get any clarification you need. Our emphasis is providing thorough care for all of our patients.
Amazon employees can download the Care app and immediately connect to a clinician. Or, get more information about our service.
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