St. Joseph Mercy Health System announced Monday the launch of virtual appointments for patients at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, and St. Mary Mercy Livonia hospitals.
“Today’s patients are accustomed to immediate access and connectivity through technology, and we in the health industry want to provide that same level of real-time connection in the field of medicine,” says Dave Spivey, president and CEO of St. Mary Mercy Livonia.
The program will be run through MDLIVE, a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine service that connects patients to medical professionals via live streaming video, phones, or a mobile app device.
The physicians available for the service are board-certified in such specialties as internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics. They are licensed to treat a range of medical conditions and can send prescriptions directly to the patient’s preferred pharmacy.
However, the service shouldn’t be used as a replacement for routine check ups or screenings with a primary care doctor, says Jack Weiner, president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.
“Rather, the service provides access to round-the-clock care when a patient needs to be seen right away or doesn’t want to sit in a waiting room,” Wiener says. “Like a house call, this offers an option for patients to have their needs met in the comfort of their own home.”
Benefits include a 10-minute response time and the ability to reach a local physician while traveling outside of the state or internationally.
Sign up for the service is free. Patients will only be charged upon a virtual visit with a physician. For more information, click here.