UCHealth to launch online appointment scheduling, virtual doctors visits

close up of doctor holding medical files

UCHealth, the giant Colorado hospital network with more than 100 clinic locations across the state, on Wednesday announced a tech-focused rebranding campaign aimed at better connecting with patients.

The network plans to roll out increased use of online appointment scheduling and virtual doctor visits, as well as a phone app and a new website. UCHealth CEO Elizabeth Concordia said the campaign was created after talking with 5,000 patients, staff members and health care workers over 18 months to get a better sense of how the hospital could be more responsive to its customers.

“Not proudly, health care has often not put the patient first in the same way that retail and other industries have,” Concordia said.

The campaign, Concordia said, will bring to health care the same kind of technology-driven convenience that customers have come to expect elsewhere — whether it is making a restaurant reservation online or depositing a check via a phone app.

“It’s time for health care to catch up,” she said.

UCHealth runs such hospitals as the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. Manny Rodriguez, UCHealth’s chief marketing and experience officer, said part of the campaign will be letting people know that all these facilities — with their various clinics and specialists — are part of the same network.

But the main focus is giving patients the ability to better dictate how they receive care.

Under the new system being rolled out, Concordia said, a sick person can call their doctor’s office to make an appointment or schedule the appointment online or through a phone app.

They can go into their doctor’s office for the visit or use the app to find the closest urgent care facility. Or they can call to talk or make a virtual visit — sort of like a video conference — with a doctor.

“The message that we have heard,” Concordia said, “is that not everybody wants one way of interacting with the system. They want to interact with the system on their terms.”