Ochsner Health Offers Free Virtual Urgent Care to Lake Charles Residents Displaced by Hurricane Laura
Ochsner telemedicine platform helping patients get care from evacuation locations
Ochsner Health is offering free urgent care telemedicine visits via Ochsner Anywhere Care to Lake Charles and its area residents who have been displaced due to Hurricane Laura. Impacted individuals can visit with a doctor on their phone, tablet or computer 24/7 by using the code LAURARELIEF. Free, same-day prescription delivery may also be available in select areas, located within 20 miles of an Ochsner Pharmacy.
Hurricane Laura hit Lake Charles, Louisiana in the early hours of Thursday, August 27 as a strong category 4 storm – the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the state in more than 150 years. More than 1.5 million people in Louisiana and Texas were under evacuation orders prior to the storm’s arrival. It’s estimated that power and water restoration in the affected areas could take 4-6 weeks.
Ochsner facilities have welcomed 48 adult and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients from Lake Charles hospitals, including CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital and CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital. Ochsner’s Flight Care team worked around-the-clock for 48 hours to quickly transfer the area’s highest acuity patients via air and ground transport. Displaced Lake Charles-based Ochsner employees have also been given the opportunity to work in other facilities whose operations have not been impacted by the storm. This past Saturday, Ochsner delivered an 18-wheeler full of supplies to CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital to help kickstart recovery efforts.
“Our organization understands the challenges that come with rebuilding following a natural disaster and our hearts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Laura,” said Robert Hart, MD, chief medical officer, Ochsner Health. “As our community continues to feel the impact of COVID-19, we want to remove barriers that may prevent people from receiving critical healthcare services. We hope that free telemedicine visits can help our neighbors from Southwest Louisiana as they recover and rebuild.”
How Virtual Visits Work
Launched in November 2018, Ochsner Anywhere Care is a virtual visit platform in which patients can instantly connect with board-certified family medicine, internal medicine and pediatric physicians and advanced practice providers for secure, live, on-demand video visits via their smartphone, tablet or personal computer. It’s an integrated and streamlined experience delivered through a free Ochsner Anywhere Care mobile app on iOS or Android or online through a computer at www.ochsner.org/ochsner-anywhere-care.
During the virtual visit, providers and patients communicate through video and providers can diagnose, prescribe or refill medications, as needed, and suggest follow-up care. If follow-up care or further testing is necessary, Ochsner Anywhere Care providers will refer patients back to their regular Ochsner care team – or can recommend an Ochsner physician when a new relationship is needed. One of the most important aspects of Ochsner Anywhere Care is the link it creates back to a patient’s electronic medical record. After every virtual visit, an after-visit summary will be added to Epic – Ochsner’s integrated electronic health record system – so that the care team has direct access to the information.
Ochsner Anywhere Care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The visit is free to Lake Charles-area residents with the code LAURARELIEF. Other individuals interested using the platform can receive a visit for a discounted rate of $10.
For the latest updates on resources available to areas affected by Hurricane Laura, please visit ochsner.org/weather.
About Ochsner Health
Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Ochsner Health is a not-for-profit committed to giving back to the communities it serves through preventative screenings, health and wellness resources and partnerships with innovative organizations that share our vision. Ochsner Health healed more than 876,000 people from across the globe in 2019, providing the latest medical breakthroughs and therapies, including digital medicine for chronic conditions and telehealth specialty services. Ochsner Health is a national leader, named the top hospital in Louisiana and a top children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report. As Louisiana’s leading healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. Ochsner Health is innovating healthcare by investing in new technologies and research to make world-class care more accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner's team of more than 26,000 employees and 4,500 providers are working to reinvent the future of health and wellness in the region. To learn more about Ochsner Health, please visit www.ochsner.org. To transform your health, please visit www.ochsner.org/healthyyou.