Everything’s up to date in Kansas City—Missouri, that is, andwith respect to getting city employees in and out of the doctor’soffice.

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That’s the word from the Great Heartland, where city leadersdecided it was high time to put modern medicine to work. Tired ofhearing employees say they didn’t have time to go to the doctor;the city responded by creating a kiosk in City Hall that is gettingemployees in and out of the clinic in 45 minutes or less.

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“There is one less excuse for employees of the City of KansasCity, Missouri, to put off seeing a doctor,” the city said in anews release. “In an effort to make it more convenient than everfor its employees to access medical care, the Kansas City HealthCare Trust, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City(Blue KC), have partnered with Mosaic Life Care to bring expertmedical advice directly to City Hall.

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“Mobile kiosk telemedicine features the next generation ofhealth care. It connects patients with medical professionals,without the hassle of driving to appointments, making it easierthan ever for people to take care of themselves. City officialsbelieve this is an innovative way to reach employees who wouldotherwise go undiagnosed or untreated. It also provides value totaxpayers by proactively working to lower future health care costs.”

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Ah, the homage to the taxpayer—you knew it had to be theresomewhere.

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The medical kiosk opened on the eighth floor of City Hall onJuly 1. Staffed during business hours, the kiosk is designed toconnect employees with “a provider online for a range of issuesincluding minor illnesses and injuries, symptoms from a chronicmedical condition and even general health and wellnessconcerns.”

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Right there at the kiosk, employees can:

  • Have their medical history, symptoms and vitals reviewed by aregistered nurse at the station;

  • Have the information sent online to a clinician;

  • Receive an assessment;

  • Schedule a follow-up appointment.

And all within 30 minutes, guaranteed.

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Here’s the list of symptoms and conditions the kiosk is equippedto address:

  • Mild asthma

  • Minor headaches

  • Sprains, strains

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

  • Bumps, cuts, scrapes

  • Burning with urination

  • Coughs, sore throat, ear and sinus pain

  • Eye swelling, irritation, redness or pain

  • Minor allergic reactions

  • Minor fevers, colds

  • Rashes, minor burns

  • Back pain

  • Chronic medical conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, highcholesterol, etc.)

The city thinks the kiosk combines the best of the virtual andin-person care models that will lead to a healthier workforce.

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“Personal touch is still very important in this technology age,”said Jill Monroe, City Wellness Program Manager. “Having aregistered nurse there to triage the patient prior to the physiciancoming online is a big plus. The nurse will be able to providemore in-depth education so patients fully understand their care, goover potential measures to help prevent the issue from reoccurring,and be available for follow-up, if necessary.”

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.