DispatchHealth, a national provider of on-demand mobile care, announced a collaboration today with Texas Health Resources to provide modern-day house calls to Dallas-area residents. Patients can now receive urgent care in the comfort of their own homes and potentially avoid emergency room visits.
“This new offering is an important step in delivering care that meets the needs and lifestyle of each individual,” said Winjie Tang Miao, Texas Health’s chief experience officer. “This is about offering convenient and affordable care, when and where people need it most.”
The collaboration between DispatchHealth and Texas Health will initially offer the mobile services to residents in select ZIP codes in the Dallas area.
The new service is in response to feedback from consumers who have asked for additional, convenient ways of accessing urgent and acute care, Miao said.
The DispatchHealth medical teams, which commute to the location of patients via an SUV outfitted with various medical supplies, arrive with the ability to treat clinical problems, such as pneumonia, respiratory infections, skin infections and minor trauma. Services are conveniently requested via phone, web or mobile app. Once a request is made and screened for medical appropriateness, the medical team is dispatched to the patient’s location (e.g., home, work or a senior living community) in less than two hours.
“We’re advancing the model for urgent care, moving beyond a strict facility-based approach, by bringing high-acuity care to patients who typically struggle with access to care in their time of need,” said Jake Frost, market director of the Dallas area, DispatchHealth. “They’re sick and either don’t want to or are unable to leave home. And we know that some of these patients may not really need to be seen in an ER, which can be costly and lead to long wait times.”
Each medical team consists of either a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, a medical technician and a remote on-call emergency medicine-trained physician who is both board-certified and locally licensed. To guarantee continuity of care, a detailed report is provided to each patient’s care management staff, home health agency and/or their primary care physician.
The team brings advanced on-site capabilities, such as stapling, IV fluids, IV medication administration, urinary tract infection treatment, catheter insertion, lab testing, rapid infectious disease testing, gastrostomy tube reinsertion, respiratory care and much more. The medical team can even call for mobile imaging, such as X-rays and sonograms, when required.
“We know it can be challenging to get to the urgent care or even the ER when you need it most. And surprisingly, nearly 70 percent of people who visit the ER are actually there for non-urgent matters,” Frost said.
This collaboration also enables Texas Health Physicians Group providers to facilitate home-based care for patients with chronic conditions. A visit from DispatchHealth could provide an early intervention that would keep a patient from needing to be admitted to the hospital, for conditions such as complications related to congestive heart failure or a minor post-operative issue that doesn’t need to be treated in an emergency room.
“This is a game changer for us as it meets the growing demand to bring more complex care to individuals where it’s convenient for them,” Miao said. “The medical cost for a visit by one of these mobile units is nearly a tenth of the cost of the average ER visit and is covered by most insurers. It’s what our community wants.”
DispatchHealth is available in the Dallas area seven days a week, 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. Patients can request care by calling 214-377-1791, using the free DispatchHealth mobile app or visiting DispatchHealth.com. For a complete list of ZIP codes served by the mobile units, go here.
In addition to the Dallas area, DispatchHealth is in nine other markets nationwide.