In 2016, more than 83 percent of US adults had contact with a health care professional. The biggest reason was a cough.
"Usually we have a pretty good idea of what's going on and just confirm by our exam findings," said St. Luke's Dr. Robert Dolansky.
Dolansky can diagnose the cause of that cough virtually. He's part of the health network's Care Anywhere team.
A virtual doctor visit that can be accessed anywhere through a smart device or home computer.
The program began last year with more than 500 visits since.
"Usually for adults it's pretty easy where it gets more difficult is with kids," he said.
Dolansky added patients can be referred to the ER or their doctor if needed.
Director of Telemedicine Phil Witkowski says access is as easy as downloading the St. Luke's care anywhere app, giving your information and picking a doctor.
He says depending on the time and day the number of doctors vary..but they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is a flat fee of $49.
"More difficult time getting to providers, urgent care centers are getting busier. It's just another way to put access at home for convenience of the customer," Witkowski said.
"A lot of us physicians had a fear people were going to use this service as a third party vendor to buy antibiotics. We are not seeing that," Dolansky stressed.
Virtual prescriptions can be given but Dolansky says by law controlled substances like opioids can't be prescribed in the virtual world.
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