Christus Trinity Clinic is drastically expanding telehealth services and online screening tools across Northeast Texas with the launch of secure video and telephone visits and an online COVID-19 screening tool.

Beginning now, telehealth services are expanding to offer secure, HIPAA-compliant video visits with the more than 200 primary care providers throughout Christus Trinity Clinic locations across all of Northeast Texas served by Christus  Trinity Mother Frances, Christus  Good Shepherd and Christus  St. Michael Health Systems. These video visits are available for Apple iPhone and Android users.

Andria Cardinalli-Stein, M.D., FACP, Ambulatory Chief Quality Officer, CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic in Northeast Texas said:

“A video visit is a visit with your clinician through your computer or smart phone with video capability and is appropriate for evaluations of most any symptom you have. A telephone visit is used for those with no video capability and is just a telephone call only. Either a video or telephone visit can be used for simple things such as coughs and colds, or for more complicated things such as helping manage diabetes or heart disease,” Primary care video visits are available now, and specialty visits will be available this week, including OB-GYN, Cardiology, Pulmonology, Oncology – just to name a few.”

If a patient begins a video visit and their primary care provider determines the need for an in-person evaluation, that will be arranged. If further testing such as blood work or consultations is necessary, a referral and instructions will be provided. Both video and telephone visits are covered by nearly all major medical insurances including Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. Depending on your plan, you may be billed a copay, just as though you were seeing your provider in a traditional office setting. There is no additional cost associated with a telemedicine visit.

Scott Smith, M.D., Vice President of Primary Care and Clinic Operations, Christus Health, Senior Vice President and Institute Chair of Primary Care, said:

“The new Christus Trinity Clinic telemedicine systems can be used to prevent overcrowding in clinics while preventing exposures, reducing risk and facilitating high-quality care,” Christus Trinity Clinic. “Due to the extraordinary circumstances created by the current COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory agencies have approved new patients to be seen via telemedicine visits.”

On March 23, the COVID Health Chatbot will be live at Christus and accessible by the public. The goal is to alleviate stress on call centers and the ChristusCOVID Hotline by offering a dedicated tool to help patients self-screen for the virus and get direction on what steps they need to take next.

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) unit programmed into a website to perform basic, automated duties, such as replying to customers on a retail site or engaging with users on social media messenger services.

Dr. Smith said:

“Patients will interact with our chatbot through a text-chat interface on the website,” “The COVID Health Chatbot is available 24/7 and will provide a screening function for patients who are ill with fever or cough or shortness of breath and have had travel to any region that has known community spread of coronavirus or if you have any of the above symptoms and exposure to a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.”

Christy Bush, Chief Operating Officer, Christus Trinity Clinic said:

“As healthcare systems adapt their procedures and we all make changes to our daily lives and routines, it is important that Christus Trinity Clinic does everything we can to ensure patients have access to the medical care they need,” We are poised to do whatever it takes to continue bringing you the same seamless, compassionate care you have come to expect, while also doing everything we can to minimize the spread of infectious disease throughout the communities we serve.”

More From Eagle 106.3