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Forget waiting rooms, medical house calls return in Pierce County

TACOMA, WA - In Pierce County and parts of South King County, if you’re feeling sick you now can get a house visit from a medical professional.

DispatchHealth is a different kind of urgent care.

If you’re sick, you can set up an appointment for a medical professional to come right to your door.

“We’re able to take what used to be that little black bag out to patients now, in a much more thorough and robust way,” said Karrie Austin.

Austin is the Market Director of DispatchHealth.

For nearly two decades, she worked as an emergency room nurse.

“It became very apparent that we had a huge gap how we provided care to the community,” said Austin.

She says that is how DispatchHealth originally started. Medical professionals wanted to help lower wait times and costs of emergency room visits.

DispatchHealth started in Colorado and has spread to ten different locations throughout the country. Tacoma is the most recent.

“We’re here for the community to treat anybody and everybody,” said Austin.

If you’re feeling sick, you can contact DispatchHealth by calling, going to the website, or using the mobile app.

After setting up an appointment, a two-person team will come to your address. The team has either a physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, and an EMT Tech.

The medical professionals can provide any service you’d get in the doctor’s office, and with your insurance the cost is the same as a visit to any urgent care provider, Austin says.

We’re able to take what used to be that little black bag out to patients now, in a much more thorough way.

“Isn’t that great you don’t have to do nothing,” said Cindy Cilenti.

On Friday, DispatchHealth visited Cilenti at her home to treat symptoms of Bronchitis.

Cilenti says she had been feeling sick for a while. However, when she finally decided to call her doctor, she says they couldn’t see her.

“Sometimes I don’t go, because they’re so booked up you can’t get in, and the longer you wait the sicker you get,” she said.

Cilenti never heard of DispatchHealth before Friday; she says her doctor’s office is the one who suggested calling them. She says she will be using them again.

DispatchHealth is opened seven days a week all year.

Currently, they only provide service to Pierce County and South King County, but Austin says they hope to grow throughout the state.

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