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5 Reasons to Schedule a Virtual Visit

Published on May 08, 2020

Virtual Visits with Munson HealthcareIf you haven’t heard, Munson Healthcare is now offering Virtual Visit appointments to patients across our system. That means no matter where you are in northern Michigan, you’re able to access expert care from home and keep your health and wellness on track.

As we embrace a virtual culture to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s only natural that virtual care would be an option. The good news is: we’ve made it simple. You can experience a Munson Healthcare Virtual Visit in two ways:

  • Audio-only visits via telephone
  • Face-to-face video visits through secure Web and mobile apps

So what does a Virtual Visit mean for you? In short, easy access to trusted medical care. Here are five things to know about Munson Healthcare Virtual Visits:

1. You Can Access Expert Care from Your Living Room

Stay home and stay safe. Munson Healthcare Virtual Visits let you receive trusted medical care while social distancing and slowing the spread of COVID-19. You can complete your appointment at home, the office, or any other private location. Wi-Fi or a strong cellular connection might be all we’ll need to set up your visit and start providing care.

“I’ve seen 5-10 patients who had previously been lost to follow-up or canceled appointments due to transportation and other barriers,” said Jill Vollbrecht, MD, Munson Medical Center Endocrinology & Metabolism. “This new method of care we’ve rapidly adopted is truly helping us reach patients we weren’t seeing using traditional methods.” 


2. You Can See Your Own Munson Healthcare Provider

Virtual Visits at Home with Munson HealthcareThere are a handful of telehealth options in northern Michigan, but they’re not likely your provider. A Munson Healthcare Virtual Visit lets you see the local primary care and medical specialists you already know and trust. Our team knows your history and already have your medical records at hand.

“It’s so nice to actually see patients’ faces and I think they appreciate it too,” said Susan Lancer, MD, Munson Primary Care McBain. “There have been several instances when I’ve been asked questions about a medication and the patient was able to quickly go to their cabinet, get the medication, and show me what they were taking. I still prefer seeing patients in person, but I’m encouraged that this technology is opening up new ways to care for patients.”

If you’re looking for care, contact your Munson Healthcare provider and see if a Virtual Visit is the right fit.


3. Virtual Visits Are Available in Many Clinical Applications

We’re scheduling Virtual Visits now in primary care, pediatrics, behavioral health, OB/GYN, rehab, and other medical and surgical specialties. Depending on your care need, this could include post-surgical follow-up and physical therapy.

“We’re seeing everything from new patients with significant health issues to quick visits to go over blood pressure readings,” said Grayling Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Lauren Atkinson. “It’s very similar to how we treat diabetic cases. Instead of bringing patients into the office to discuss their average blood sugar readings, we can discuss their health face-to-face over video.”

More than 400 medical specialists in 65+ practices are providing virtual care across the Munson Healthcare system. And those numbers continue to grow.


4. Starting a Video Visit is Easier than You Might Think

Video visits are secure, face-to-face appointments through HIPAA-compliant Web and mobile apps. That sounds complex, but really it’s just an app or Web link that allows you to see and speak with your provider from your favorite chair.

A smartphone is typically all you need. In some cases, a laptop or desktop computer with a camera will do the trick. Your provider will advise the best device for your video visit and will help you set up any applications you might need.

We make it as easy as possible for you to access care, and patients have noticed. “We’ve found video visits to be going very well,” Lauren added. “I know my patients and most of them are definitely appreciating the access. Quick visits make it easy for patients to click or tap a Web link and go directly to their video visit.”


5. Same-day Virtual Visits: You Might Save a Trip

There’s a long list of specific conditions we can treat by Virtual Visit. In fact, you may be able to convert same-day non-emergency appointments to a video visit. Things like:

  • Allergies
  • Back or muscle strains
  • Bladder or urinary tract infections
  • Coughs, congestion, sinus problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear ache or infection
  • Mild fevers
  • Pink eye and other minor eye problems
  • Rashes
  • Sore throat

As always, contact your provider to ask about Virtual Visits. And remember, if you have a medical emergency, call 911.


Request an Appointment

To get started, simply contact your Munson Healthcare provider to schedule an appointment. Your care specialist will share instructions and next steps if a Virtual Visit is the right fit.