Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

Telehealth: What Is Virtual Urgent Care?

Virtual urgent care connects you with a healthcare provider for minor conditions like pink eye, abrasions, sore throat, upper respiratory infections, or back pain. It is an on-demand digital service directly aimed at the consumer and may reduce unnecessary emergency room visits for minor conditions. Another name for virtual urgent care is telehealth.

Now that patients seem to be getting past the pandemic, will they keep virtual healthcare visits or go back to in-person visits? With mask mandates currently optional in many locations, you may opt to go back to in-person visits. If you have not yet enjoyed the convenience of a telehealth visit, you may want to set one up.

Setting Up Your Urgent Care Telehealth Visit

Patients either call their doctor's office or visit their patient portal to schedule a telehealth visit. Appointments may be same-day if a patient calls early enough in the day. Some offices will work an urgent care telehealth visit in if they are booked and the patient is insistent. It depends on the policy of the doctor's office. It also depends on the availability of a doctor at that particular office. Appointment links are generally sent immediately.

Virtual urgent care visits may use a smartphone or other digital device that uses an Internet connection and Wi-Fi. If you are using public Wi-Fi at the library or using cellular data, your connection may not be secure and your physician may end the telehealth visit. You may or may not be billed for it. If you are home on a secure network, close any applications that may be running before your virtual visit.

What to Have Ready for Your Telehealth Visit

Once the visit is initiated via the link, the patient is directed to a virtual waiting room until the doctor shows up. The visit may or may not include video. Keep background distractions at a minimum.

If your physician's office sent paperwork to be completed prior to the virtual urgent care visit, make sure that you complete it and send it back before your appointment commences. Having complete paperwork before your virtual visit ensures that your doctor will have as much of your history as possible ahead of time. Patients should have symptoms, any relevant measurements like temperature, blood pressure, or blood sugar readings, and a credit card ready in case it is the policy of the office to pay insurance copays up-front.

Perks of Telehealth Virtual Care

Virtual urgent care is convenient. Once the patient and the doctor connect, the doctor will ask you various questions about your symptoms to try to ascertain what health issue you are having. It is just you and your doctor conversing in the privacy of your own home. Other perks include no travel time, fewer or no interruptions, and for those offices still requiring masks, no masks. 

Contact your doctor to learn more about virtual urgent care