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New 24-Hour “Virtual Clinic” Allows For Video-Chat Appointments

Premier Health health care telemedicine telehealth
WYSO/Jess Mador

Southwest Ohioans now have a new way to access routine and urgent-care medical services. Premier Health officials Monday announced a new “virtual clinic” that connects doctors and patients via video conference. 

The Premier Virtual Care program is the first of its kind in the Miami Valley, officials say. The telemedicine program makes doctors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It’s intended for patients with non-life threatening conditions such as colds, flu, allergies and back pain, and it works like this:

Patients log in to a web portal using a computer, tablet or cell-phone. Providers join the video chat and conduct a remote virtual exam. Any referrals or necessary prescriptions are sent electronically after the remote visit.

Kathleen L. Forbes, MD, chief integration officer at Premier Health, says the program is designed to make seeing a doctor for routine problems easier, cheaper and more convenient.

“The one struggle across the country repeatedly is patients having trouble accessing care. It could be transportation issues, location, etc., and so offering services, different portals of entry for care, I think it helps the patients receive the care that they need,” she says.  

Forbes says telemedicine programs like Premier Virtual Care are particularly important for low-income or uninsured patients, and people in rural areas.

For more information go to PremierVirtualCare.com.