Mercy Medical Center Launches Telemedicine Program
Mercy Telemedicine Service Provides Patients Opportunity to See Their Physician while Maintaining Social Distancing as COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Policy Continues
(Baltimore, MD) – Mercy Health Services, Mercy Medical Center, now offers patients the opportunity to connect with physicians via telemedicine, Thomas R. Mullen, President and CEO, Mercy Health Services, has announced.
According to Mr. Mullen, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercy had already been making plans to implement a telemedicine platform.
“The coronavirus situation stepped up the timetable and we’ve already begun utilizing telemedicine, with patients making appointments,” Mr. Mullen said.
Dr. Fernando Ferro, part of the Mercy Telemedicine leadership team and Medical Director for Mercy Personal Physicians at Overlea, reiterated Mr. Mullen’s remarks: “We intended to launch telemedince across all of Mercy’s primary and specialty care hubsites – Mercy Personal Physicians at Overlea, Lutherville, Glen Burnie, Reisterstown, Columbia, and so forth -- in the next fiscal year. But Mercy invested and accelerated the effort to make it a reality now,” Dr. Ferro said.
Mercy Telemedicine is available to patients via MyChart Mercy, an online patient portal for health information and management. Telemedicine appointments need to be scheduled ahead of time by contacting the doctor’s office.
Patients can take specific steps to prepare for their telemedicine visit. During the scheduled time, a patient can access the video visit via their MyChart Mercy account, which is integrated with a secure connection on Zoom. The provider and patient will be able to see and talk with each other via the video connection. Patients can request a telemedicine appointment by calling their doctor’s office directly or by submitting an appointment request via MyChart Mercy or Mercy’s websites.
“It’s been a tremendous effort between Mercy physicians, technicians, and administrators to create a telemedicine platform fully integrated with EPIC, Mercy’s state-of-the-art electronic health record system. Mercy physicians have stepped up in an unprecedented way to embrace the technology for the benefit of their patients who need care,” said Christopher Thomaskutty, Senior VP of Clinical Programs, Chief of Staff, Mercy Health Services.
Dr. Ferro added that all primary care providers affiliated with Mercy Personal Physicians now offer telemedicine options. Additionally, most Mercy specialists offer telemedicine visits. “Patients just need to call their specialist to find out more,” he said.
Patients should have a MyChart Mercy account to utilize Mercy Telemedicine services, and are encouraged to run a test prior to their visit to be sure everything works properly. Anyone experiencing problems while preparing for their visit can consult the information guide and troubleshooting information or call their doctor’s office directly for support.
Insurance companies provide telemedicine visit coverage, which is comparable to coverage provided for in-office visits. There is no “extra” cost because of the visit being conducted via telemedicine technology. If a co-pay is required for a patient’s telemedicine visit, it will be collected during the required e-check-in process, which occurs just before the patient’s telemedicine visit begins.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.