Video health visits have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These visits allow patients to connect with their provider using an electronic device – cell phone, tablet or computer with a webcam. Providers are able to visualize and review patient concerns without the patient having to come to a physical office location. Although they’ve been available for several years, COVID-19 has given people the opportunity to recognize the convenience and safety benefits of video visits.
More than 500 of our physicians (with Edward Medical Group, Elmhurst Clinic, Elmhurst Memorial Medical Group and Elmhurst Medical Associates) are offering video visits in specialty areas like family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and more. If you need to find a doctor, we can help with that, too.
Most conditions that are addressed during office visits can also be handled through video visits. These include:
- Chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid issues
- Upper respiratory conditions, such as the common cold and flu
- Minor sprains and strains
- Diarrhea and nausea
- Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
Video visits offer many benefits for patients, including:
- Greater convenience – You no longer need to take several hours off from work to go to an appointment. Video visits can be done at a location that’s convenient for you at a time that fits your schedule. For parents, it reduces the need for childcare since you can do the visit right from your home. For senior citizens, or those who don’t drive, it takes away the worry of finding transportation to get to an appointment.
- Better control of chronic conditions – Video visits make it possible to do shorter but more frequent visits. For example, if you have high blood pressure, you can meet with your provider every month and get the condition under control faster.
- Personalized care – People often go into video visits with less anxiety and are more open and honest when speaking about their condition. This helps your provider catch things earlier and provide the appropriate treatment.
- Access to specialized care – Specialists often have longer wait times for office visits – and their offices may not be conveniently located for you. But video visits help eliminate this lag time and make it easier to get to appointments.
- Peace of mind – Sometimes, patients are concerned about symptoms but just talking about them eases their worries and helps strengthen the patient-provider relationship. In the long term, this helps reduce the number of people using urgent care or going to the emergency room for concerns that can be addressed by a primary care provider.
Video visits aren’t meant to replace in-person appointments with your physician. View them as an option in your healthcare toolbox, something to use when the situation and timing are appropriate. It’s recommended to check with your insurance carrier to verify if video visits are covered under your policy.