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Virtual Visits: Making Healthcare Easier in a Socially Distanced World

Using technology to get quick, safe, and quality access to healthcare

Written by: Andrew Hall.

Key Takeaways

  • Virtual healthcare visits utilize technology to connect you with doctors in real-time.

  • In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many Americans prefer to skip the physical office visit instead of utilizing telemedicine or virtual office visits.

  • Telehealth and virtual office visits can be used for any minor health needs and illnesses like sore throats, colds, skin rashes, fevers, stomach bugs, and more.

What are virtual visits?

Virtual visits utilize technology (usually phones or video calls) to connect you with doctors in real-time. Virtual visits are like a FaceTime or Zoom call with your doctor and can diagnose and treat minor health conditions.

Sick Kids, Social Distancing, and Virtual Visits

Parents: Do you have a son or daughter who routinely uses your sleeve as a tissue? What about a child who always seems to come home with whatever is circulating around their classroom? Lice? Chicken pox? Hand, foot and mouth? Does it seem like your little ones are home sick more than they’re in school?

It’s inevitable that with blustery winds and freezing temperatures, winter also brings its share of colds, flus, and who knows what else. It’s hard to predict exactly what your children are going to come down with and when, but having a plan in place helps you prepare to tackle sickness head-on.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many Americans prefer to skip the physical office visit instead of utilizing telemedicine or virtual office visits. And while some still value human interaction when it comes to doctor-patient relationships, most – 76 percent – would rather have easy access to healthcare, according to an American Hospital Association study. [1]

Picture This Scenario

Picture this: It’s 7:30 a.m. and your child is running a temperature of 102 degrees. Instead of setting your alarm for the very second the pediatrician’s office opens so you can snag an appointment, wouldn’t it be great to have immediate access to a board-certified doctor?

Well, now you can.

Telehealth and virtual office visits can be used for any minor health needs and illnesses like sore throats, colds, skin rashes, fevers, stomach bugs, and more. Basically, anything you would consider going to a walk-in clinic for can be assessed via telehealth or virtual office visits.

There are different tools and apps now available that give you 24/7 access to doctors who can diagnose conditions and prescribe appropriate treatment. Some of these tools can also save you money on other healthcare needs, like prescription drugs, vision care, dental procedures, and more.

So the next time you’re thinking of packing sick kids into a car to make the long commute to the doctor, consider a virtual visit instead.

FAQs

Do virtual doctor visits cost more?

While this typically depends on your provider and health insurance policy, many patients simply pay the same copayment amount they would for an in-office visit.

Are there any services I can't get virtually?

Yes–virtual visits are a great way to get many non-critical, preventive and non-invasive services done. Some, though, will require a closer examination from your doctor. If you have any questions, a quick call to your doctor’s office will help. The staff there will typically discuss the reason for your visit and determine if it can be done virtually, or if you’ll need to go in.

What's Next?