Ask Us Anything About… Penn State Health OnDemand

A woman holds up a thermometer with her right hand and her cell phone in her left hand. A young girl is in the background, lying down.

From coughs and sore throats, to minor skin irritations and joint pain – we have you covered. The Penn State Health OnDemand app is an easy way to access both adult and pediatric care teams for urgent clinical care needs and common concerns.

November 25, 2019Penn State Health News

We learn more from Chris LaCoe, vice president of operations at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.


View full transcript of video


Description – The video begins inside the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Two people are standing next to each other inside an office setting. Standing from left to right are Chris LaCoe and Barbara Schindo.

Barbara Schindo – From Penn State Health, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, this is Ask Us Anything about OnDemand. I’m Barbara Schindo. Getting sick can be very inconvenient, but getting the care that you need should not be. With Penn State Health OnDemand, you can talk face to face with a doctor via your smart phone, tablet, or PC anytime, anywhere, and get the high-quality care that you need to feel better. I’m joined today by Chris LaCoe who is the Vice President of Operations at Penn State Health. We welcome your questions for Chris about Penn State Health OnDemand. Whether you’re watching this live or on playback, you can just put your questions for Chris right in the comment field below this post. Chris, thanks so much for joining us.

Chris LaCoe – Sure.

Barbara Schindo – And let’s start with the basics. What is telehealth, and what is Penn State Health OnDemand?

Chris LaCoe – Sure. Penn State Health OnDemand is an app that we developed to connect providers with patients for acute care or urgent care types of needs, things like fever, flu-like symptoms, rash. Those are the kinds of things that Penn State Health OnDemand connects patients with.

Barbara Schindo – Okay, so you touched on a little bit, but what sort of services are offered through OnDemand? Like, what — the doctors who are there, what can they treat?

Chris LaCoe – Sure. Yeah, I mean, common ailments, like I said. Obviously, not things that would require emergency care or urgent care types of services. It’s available 24/7, so it’s on the patient’s time, and it is for things like common cold, sinusitis, flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, rash, the things that we see this time of year.

Barbara Schindo – Sure, and, you know, I thought this is a good time to talk about this because people are going to start traveling a lot for the holidays, so you’ll be away from your own, your normal PCP. The weather might start to get bad, so you might be sick. You might not be able to leave your house, but this is a very convenient way for these folks to see a doctor. And what kind of doctors are available? Like, are they board certified, licensed?

Chris LaCoe – Yeah, no, all board certified physicians. Many of them are family practice docs, internists, or emergency room physicians, so what you’d see if you actually came to the ED or an urgent care clinic.

Barbara Schindo – Okay, great. Again, you’re watching Ask Us Anything about OnDemand. I am with Chris LaCoe. We welcome your questions for Chris. Whether you’re watching live or on playback, you can just put your questions in the comment field below this post. So who should use Penn State Health OnDemand?

Chris LaCoe – Yeah, so anybody, actually. We offer services from zero to 92. So parents, if you have a sick child and you want to get that 3:00 a.m. consult, you could dial it up and can be seen. A lot of college kids, you know, last year, actually, at this time, my son came home and had strep, and so we actually had a visit with that and he was actually able to be seen by a physician on Thanksgiving Day, so —

Barbara Schindo – Oh, wow.

Chris LaCoe – Yeah, so it’s 24/7, 365.

Barbara Schindo – Wow, that’s great. So what are the doctors able to do? Are they able to give a prescription via the OnDemand?

Chris LaCoe – Yeah, if a prescription is necessary, they’re able to actually order and have that prescription sent to the local pharmacy of your choice and you can pick it up on your terms and on your time.

Barbara Schindo – Wow, very good. How can people sign up? Do they have to download the app? Do they have to create an account? How does that work?

Chris LaCoe – Yeah, so in the app store, it’s actually available, IOS or Google, and it’s device-agnostic. Download the app and enroll. You know, if you have insurance, you can load your insurance information in there, so it’s available to anyone and it is completely free.

Barbara Schindo – Yeah, that was — you just took my next question there. I was going to ask: Does it cost anything to use this application, and it can work with your insurance?

Chris LaCoe – Yeah, so most insurance, commercial insurance has some sort of telemedicine coverage, and so there is a benefit there. If you don’t have insurance, it’s a $49 visit, but the app is free.

Barbara Schindo – Okay. That seems pretty convenient, $49. Again, you are watching Ask Us Anything about Penn State Health OnDemand with Chris LaCoe. We welcome your questions for Chris. If you’re watching this here live now and you have a question about OnDemand, what it is and how it works, feel free to post your question in the comment field below this post or you could also do that if you are watching on playback and we can still get an answer for you. And we can also put in the comment field here below some additional information about OnDemand, a link to kind of — we have an FAQ on our website that explains a lot of these questions, how people can enroll, what you can do, and what’s available for you there. So one other thing I wanted to ask is, you had mentioned the kind of treatments that are available. Is there any type of specialty treatment available, or is there like — there are certain things that you still recommend, like actually physically go to the hospital or the ER for it?

Chris LaCoe – Yeah, absolutely. I mean, again, the app is not for everything, and if you look at our website, you can actually see the types of cases or patients that, you know, we would treat. But yeah, definitely there’s a place for emergency care versus the urgent care. We actually are beginning to expand the OnDemand app to other types of virtual visits and, you know, provide services to patients outside of the urgent or acute care kind of app, so . . .

Barbara Schindo – And there are a couple of different areas of specialty care available through the telehealth program here at Penn State Health, right?

Chris LaCoe – Yes, that’s correct. Yeah, we actually have an inpatient service that we have tele-ICU and acute care offering, and also in our ambulatory space, we’re using both the Penn State Health OnDemand app for the acute care visits as well as some of our scheduled specialty visits.

Barbara Schindo – Okay, great, and that seems like a very convenient way to help the folks at home for kind of the more common or more minor illnesses. So this time of year, as people are getting lots of colds, respiratory infections going around, any kind of stomach flu, this is the place for them. This will be helpful. You can use it from your home whenever, 3:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m., whatever time of day you need you can reach a high-quality level of personalized care that’s going to help make you feel better. So again, thanks for watching Ask Us Anything about OnDemand. If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to leave them on the comment post below this field and we’ll get an answer for you. Thank you.

Show Full TranscriptCollapse Transcript

More AUAAs

  • Ask Us Anything About… Midwifery
  • Ask Us Anything About… Children’s Outdoor Injuries
  • Ask Us Anything About… Living Organ Donation
  • Ask Us Anything About… Pelvic Pain
  • See all AUAAs

Read More

  • Learn more about Penn State Health OnDemand
  • Penn State Health OnDemand app provides high-quality care where needed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *