Baptist Health System offering ‘Tele-ER’ visits amid long emergency room wait times

All San Antonio residents are eligible to use the virtual ER visit, hospital system says

Baptist Health System to require COVID-19 vaccine for San Antonio staff amid city’s infection surge
Baptist Health System to require COVID-19 vaccine for San Antonio staff amid city’s infection surge

SAN ANTONIO – COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Bexar County and so do the numbers of hospitalizations and visitations to the emergency room.

In an effort to alleviate long wait times at the ER and ensure patients who need immediate medical attention are seen, Baptist Health System is offering “Tele-ER” visits for adults with non-life-threatening illnesses that require a diagnosis by an ER medical professional.

The Tele-ER visit will allow patients to meet with an ER nurse who will complete an assessment that determines if a patient needs to be seen at an emergency room, Baptist Health System said in a release.

If the nurse determines that the patient needs to be seen, they will then tell the patient to visit the closest ER or alert 911 if a patient is unable to take themselves to the emergency room.

Michael Cline, CEO of Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, said they aren’t trying to discourage anyone from going to the ER. He said the service could help the patient determine if they need to be seen by ER personnel at the hospital.

“We are seeing many patients in the ER who are experiencing mild symptoms that could be COVID, but who maybe be better off seeing their primary care physician or an urgent care,” Cline said.

Baptist Health said all San Antonio residents are eligible to use the service, and all they need is a laptop, smartphone or desktop computer.

Tele-ER Visits are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Baptist Health said it’s free to discuss symptoms with a nurse and if a Tele-ER virtual visit is the best method of determining treatment, a co-pay will be charged when a visit is scheduled.

The Tele-ER visit is $50 for those without insurance.

For more information on Baptist Health’s Tele-ER service, you can visit The Baptist Health System homepage.

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About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.