I don’t know about you, but I’m amazed at the innovations businesses are coming up with to make our lives more convenient. I can order lunch using an app on my cellphone and it’s ready when I arrive at the restaurant. My son uses an app to communicate with his dog’s veterinarian. And we are even using smartphone apps to access our medical information. Technology is making our lives easier in many ways. At UnityPoint Clinic, we’re using technology to change the way healthcare is delivered by introducing something we call Virtual Care.
We all get sick, and the symptoms usually don’t begin at a convenient time. Your child might spike a fever late at night. You could develop a cold on a particularly busy workday. Or maybe a family member isn’t feeling well while on a weekend getaway. That’s where Virtual Care comes in. No longer do you have to make a trip to the Emergency Department in the middle of the night with a sick child. You don’t have to worry about leaving work if you’re too busy. And if you’re out of town, being away from your healthcare team is no longer an issue. Virtual Care brings the medical appointment to you via your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Here’s how it works. If you or a family member is sick, you’ll request an appointment on our website, unitypoint.org. When a provider is ready to see you—usually just minutes later—you’ll receive an email or text message. Then you’ll use our web-based platform for a video appointment with one of our providers. They’ll ask you questions about your symptoms, gathering the same information they would if you were in their office. When appropriate, they’ll send a prescription directly to your pharmacy. Virtual Care is private, secure and confidential. Your appointment will be documented in our Electronic Health Record system just like any other appointment. And if a video appointment isn’t for you, you can also speak with a provider over the phone. Virtual Care is very affordable—you can expect to pay $49 or less per appointment, depending on your insurance plan.
Virtual Care is an option in getting treatment for most minor injuries and illnesses. Our providers can help you with allergies, asthma and coughs. You can make an appointment if you have a rash, earache, or insect bite. And it’s also available for sport injuries, sinus infections and sore throats. If your Virtual Care provider thinks you need to be seen in person, they’ll let you know during your appointment. The best part: Virtual Care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Getting sick really isn’t convenient, but getting care should be. That’s why I am so excited about Virtual Care. It gives you more options for managing your health. If you prefer to visit your doctor in person, you can. If you prefer to walk in to one of our clinics, you can. And if seeing a provider on your computer, tablet or smartphone is best for you, that’s possible too. Putting you at the center is what UnityPoint Health is all about. You can count on us to keep innovating and working to give you the very best experience possible. iBi