If you try a virtual visit and the provider determines if he or she needs to see you in person, an appointment is offered at the provider’s office within 24 to 72 hours. No additional copay is required, if the patient is being seen for the same medical concern.
“There’s no harm in trying a virtual visit,” Shah said.
Knowing a patient’s medical history benefits providers and can make the visit more effective. Shah recommends all UF Health providers move toward offering virtual visits.
“There’s an opportunity for every service line to use telemedicine,” Shah said.
Jessica Peters, telemedicine education coordinator, visits offices to administer training, taking providers through a simulation of a virtual visit. Once they are trained, it is easier to identify which patients are candidates.
“Providers should talk to their patients about this option,” Peters said. “The provider is in the best position to identify patients who would benefit from access to virtual care.”
Peters is also focused on educating customer service representatives in the practices and in the call center. Representatives pre-qualify patients to make sure the medical condition is appropriate for a virtual visit and that they meet eligibility requirements.
Virtual visits are also easy and convenient for pediatric patients who receive weekly weight management counseling by a nutritionist. Tina Smith, telemedicine director for the pediatrics department, is working with providers to use this technology to serve as many patients as possible.
“Telemedicine has reduced the number of no-shows and opened up time to see more patients, even filling time between patients,” Smith said.