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University Hospital and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Partner to Provide Access to Immediate Physician Care via Video Chat

Today, University Hospital and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), announced their new Virtual Urgent Care Center, which represents the newest expansion of services at the Hospital and reflects both organizations’ commitment to delivering the care our patients need using modern tools and resources.  Patients of the Virtual Urgent Care Center can access emergency medicine trained clinicians from any location that is convenient using any video-enabled communication device, including a cell phone.

With Virtual Urgent Care, adults and children 5-years-old and older will have on-demand access to emergency medicine trained clinicians, including NJMS board-certified or board-eligible emergency physicians, while at home, work, or on the go through a HIPAA secure video chat.  The service will be available between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., 7 days a week.

The Virtual Urgent Care service is designed to treat non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries including colds, rashes, infections, and sprains. In a serious emergency, please call ‘911’ or head to the nearest emergency department.

Virtual Urgent Care is the latest addition to University Hospital and NJMS’s Care Around the Clock program, which was launched to remind our patients that the hospital is open for all routine medical care, emergencies, acute care, surgery, and an array of additional programs and services.

To get started, a patient should call (973) 972-5066 to speak to a patient access representative, who will schedule a visit and send a link that can be accessed from a computer, tablet, or smart phone. During the scheduled time, the patient and doctor will speak on a secure video platform, allowing for privacy and confidentiality.

Prescriptions, if needed, can be sent electronically to the patient’s preferred pharmacy. If the clinician determines a visit to the emergency room is needed, the patient may be advised to visit the emergency department in-person.

“We look forward to serving our community in a new and innovative way that combines medical expertise with state-of-the-art technology,” said Jonathan Green, Executive Director of the University Hospital Emergency Department. “Virtual Urgent Care allows our patients to access superior medical care online, from the comfort of their own home.”

“At University Hospital, we are always looking for new ways to keep our community healthy,” said Shereef Elnahal, MD, MBA, President & CEO of University Hospital. “Patients now have a convenient way to get care from an expert physician, without needing to travel.”

“I am excited about this enhanced collaboration between Rutgers NJMS and University Hospital that will expand urgent care service for patients with minor medical illness and injury,” said Lewis Nelson, MD, Chief of Service of the University Hospital Emergency Department, and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers NJMS. “Leveraging our longstanding relationship will enhance access to high quality care for the people of Newark and the surrounding region.”

Conditions not appropriate for Virtual Urgent Care include:

  • Signs of heart attack, including chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Signs of stroke, such as sudden onset slurred speech, numbness, one-sided muscle weakness
  • Severe pain that does not improve with nonprescription medications
  • Poisoning or overdose (Call New Jersey Poison Information & Education System at 1-800-222-1222)
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Severe wounds, lacerations, or amputations
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Genital complaints

NJMS physicians are still treating patients on-site in the emergency room at University Hospital. The emergency room is open and safe for in-person visits for patients with medical conditions and emergencies, including the ones referenced above.

Payment for a Virtual Urgent Care visit is designed to be affordable for as many people as possible. All forms of insurance are accepted and participants in the New Jersey Hospital Care Payment Assistance Program (Charity Care) are welcome to use the service. A copay may apply to your visit, depending on your insurance plan. The patient access representative can advise you on payment options in the initial scheduling call.

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