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How does a virtual visit with your doctor work?

Tired of putting off that doctor appointment? If you’re hesitant to visit the clinic, you may want to try a virtual visit instead.

Conducted over your computer or phone, virtual visits allow you to see your Piedmont provider from the comfort of home. But how do these visits work? And are they safe? 

Piedmont family medicine physician Rashi Patel Kanjira, M.D., currently sees about 30 percent of her patients through virtual visits. She appreciates the flexibility and ease these appointments offer patients. 

“It is so convenient,” she explains. 

How virtual visits work 

Telehealth appointments can differ depending on your doctor and their specialty. But you’ll get the same quality of care you always do, Dr. Patel Kanjira explains, as well as prescriptions and referrals if needed.

“I’d rather see my patients somehow, even if they don’t feel comfortable coming in,” she says. 

Piedmont patients scheduled for a virtual visit receive an email or MyChart message ahead of time with instructions. At Dr. Patel Kanjira’s office, a medical assistant calls on the day of the appointment to discuss medications and health history.

The assistant can also help patients log in to the online system. If the patient has trouble signing in, alternate Telehealth platforms are available. 

When the patient is ready, the doctor logs in and the appointment proceeds like any other. Every visit is HIPAA-compliant, so you patients can share information freely with the provider. 

“We’ve made it so easy,” Dr. Patel Kanjira says. 

What can be treated during a virtual visit? 

Some health needs, like procedures or annual physicals, currently require an in-person trip to your doctor. But Telehealth has plenty of uses.

Minor acute illnesses, such as urinary tract infections, are usually easy to treat by virtual visit. Chronic issues may be trickier, Dr. Patel Kanjira says, but they can be managed virtually as well – especially if a doctor already knows the patient and their medical history. 

Once your visit is over, you can fill prescriptions or book referral appointments as usual. If you have questions about follow-ups, check with your provider’s office. 

Want an in-person visit? You can book with confidence, because Piedmont takes every precaution to keep hospitals and clinics safe. But when you’d rather see your provider online, it’s easy and convenient to do so.

“People have different requirements, especially with kids being home,” Dr. Patel Kanjira points out. “We’re giving people flexibility.” 

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