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Jordan Zdinak, 26, leads an active, healthy lifestyle, so she wasn’t too concerned when she experienced a sore throat. Then came other symptoms — body aches, stomach tenderness, and sharp back pain.

Jordan and her husband Paul, really started to worry when Jordan suddenly threw up during the night and felt her heart racing. “I would go from sitting to standing or do a very small task and my heart rate would spike upward. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest,” says Jordan.

The couple talked about going to a hospital emergency department (ED), but quickly dismissed that option due to concerns about COVID-19 exposure. They also worried about the longer wait times patients with less severe symptoms may have to receive treatment.

Instead, Jordan called UPMC AnywhereCare, a telehealth service offered by UPMC Health Plan. Patients who call in — from their home, office, or anywhere — can get a medical evaluation from a medical professional. After discussing her symptoms, the UPMC AnywhereCare contact recommended the In Home Urgent Care Plus program.

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The In Home Urgent Care Plus program is offered to UPMC Health Plan members who would otherwise need to go to an ED to see a doctor before an office visit is possible. The In Home Urgent Care Plus team includes highly trained paramedics who visit patients in their own home.

On arrival, the paramedics conduct a thorough medical assessment, administer a COVID test, and initiate a video visit with a UPMC doctor. They also have equipment to test some bloodwork in the home (some bloodwork is dropped off at the lab after the visit). The team brings other equipment to each home visit, including:

  • A cardiac monitor.
  • IV fluids.

Jordan was surprised to learn that paramedics would be at her home in a few hours. They even called ahead with an estimated time of arrival, which was good since Jordan lives in an apartment building with a secure front entrance.

“The paramedics were very professional and made me feel comfortable,” says Jordan. “It’s a big step to let strangers into your apartment when you’re sick, but everything was clear and straightforward. It was reassuring to hear the paramedics present my case to the doctor, too,” she adds. “I felt so comfortable around them. It was almost like they were friends, coming to do a checkup.”

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During the video call, the UPMC doctor diagnosed Jordan with the flu. The doctor then advised the paramedics to start an IV and prescribed medicines, which they gave to Jordan from the supply that they carry with them.

Within hours, Jordan received a notification on her MyUPMC app with the results of her bloodwork and COVID-19 test. Several days later — after taking her medicine and knowing the COVID test was negative — Jordan was well enough to return to work.

“I think it’s a fantastic service, especially for older individuals who may live alone. I can’t wait to see it grow,” says Jordan.

UPMC In Home Urgent Care Plus is changing the paradigm of care. Patients with serious, potential life-threatening symptoms should seek immediate care at the nearest ED. In the ED, those with more serious condition are given priority.

For less severe symptoms, patients who reside in Allegheny County and are UPMC Health Plan members, can call their primary care provider or UPMC AnywhereCare first, even after regular office hours. If the In Home Urgent Care Plus program is appropriate, patients can receive prompt medical care in the privacy and safety of their own home.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.