What would you do if you were out of town for the week and suddenly found yourself needing medical care? What if your child, away at college, needed to be seen by a doctor?

These circumstances are just a few examples of times when E-visits and video visits might be helpful options for receiving the medical care your family requires. Patients with a variety of qualifying conditions can be seen via E-visit or video visit through My Chart offered by Perham Health.

woman at laptop with young girl

Examples of conditions that can be addressed through E-visits or video visits include: sinus problems, influenza, insect bites, skin infections, rashes, urinary symptoms, pink eye, head lice, heartburn, and diaper rash.

“Patients can choose to be seen either through an E-visit or a video visit,” explains Beth Ulschmid, director of clinic operations at Perham Health. “It really comes down to patient preference.”

With an E-visit, a patient simply logs on to My Chart, selects the E-visit option, and completes a brief questionnaire. A provider will then review the patient’s information and provide a treatment plan, order a prescription if needed, or request to see the patient in person. The provider may also choose to ask additional questions through My Chart as part of the E-visit. Patients can expect a response from a provider within two to four hours.

Video visits are similar to E-visits, but allow a patient to connect face-to-face with a Sanford provider. A mobile device or computer is all that’s required to see a health care provider from the convenience of home, work, or wherever you are when a medical need arises. Patients may request a video visit through My Chart. Most appointments are scheduled within an hour of submitting a request.

One of the greatest benefits of both E-visits and video visits is they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In cases where a patient’s condition is not a medical emergency, these alternatives could help families avoid expensive emergency department visits.

“We at Perham Health want to promote these services to give families alternatives to visiting the emergency department,” Ulschmid says. “Patients sometimes end up going to the emergency department for the types of visits that could be seen with an E-visit or video visit. Many families have high dollar deductible plans and would prefer to pay the $40 fee for an E-visit or the $49 fee for a video visit rather than pay several hundred dollars for an emergency department visit. There’s also the benefit of being able to remain in the comfort of your own home while being seen by a provider.”

E-visit or video visit fees are payable with a credit card through the My Chart application. Perham Health does not bill patients’ insurance for the visits, but patients can submit the visit fee to their insurance carrier.

If a provider feels a patient should be seen in person, an appointment will be scheduled. Patients will not be charged if they are seen at any Perham Health or Sanford clinic within seven days for the same condition.