Articles :: Healthy Aging

Benefits of Virtual Care are Just a Screen Away

It’s been a little stressful lately, especially as we’ve all heard the experts warn us repeatedly that the coronavirus can be hardest on those who are older or in fragile health. Often, though, those are also the people who need to see their doctors routinely to stay healthy and safe. So, what should you do?

Thanks to good planning by health systems like Penn State Health, the option for virtual care, also known as telehealth or telemedicine, was already in place and quickly became the preferred choice for accessing expert care safely.

Virtual care means care accessed via an online platform, through the use of personal devices, such as laptops or mobile devices like phones or tablets. While it may seem odd at first to think about seeing your doctor over a screen rather than in person, the same heart-to-heart conversations, education and frequent check-ins are possible via virtual care. And the best part is you can see the doctor from the comfort of your own home, without having to drive anywhere. You can even wear your PJs!

Virtual care linked to a health system also can facilitate coordinated care with your preferred specialists and primary care providers. For example, Penn State Health offers follow-up care via the Penn State Health OnDemand app for patients who may have trouble travelling.   

Not tech-savvy? No worries! It’s easy to get started with virtual care. You can either download the app to your mobile device for free or you can visit our website, pennstatehealthondemand.com. After creating an account and answering a few questions, patients have immediate access to urgent care virtual visits with board-certified doctors who are ready to help. In addition, current Penn State Health patients can check with their own providers’ practices for access to regular or follow-up visits via virtual care. 

Telehealth visits are billed to insurance and can be subject to normal copays since the level of service is the same as an in-person visit. For those who need prescriptions, e-prescribing to a local pharmacy can make the whole process as convenient as possible.

Virtual care, along with Penn State Health’s wide array of local primary care and specialty doctors and our new hospitals currently under construction, assures access to the care you need when you need it – and that makes life during a pandemic a little less stressful.

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This article was contributed by Penn State Health. 

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