Published on April 07, 2022

Hybrid approach at Essentia offers increased access to care

virtual_careAt Essentia Health, there are more options to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider than ever before.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Essentia Health drastically expanded telehealth services to keep our patients and staff safe by reducing potential exposure to the virus. Two years later, Essentia patients have the option to see their primary care provider virtually or in-person, depending on their needs.

“Maintaining a strong relationship with a primary care provider is one of the best ways to remain healthy, yet many patients have forgone routine visits since the beginning of the COVID pandemic,” said Essentia Health family medicine physician Maren Anderson, MD. “As providers at Essentia, we strive to be as accessible as possible so we can reconnect with these patients. I encourage you to be proactive about your health and schedule an in-person or virtual visit with your primary care provider today.”

Virtual visits have proven to be convenient for many, including residents of rural communities who live long distances from a health care facility; older patients who have difficulty getting to an appointment on their own; or individuals with a mental illness who need immediate care.

Virtual visits can be scheduled for a variety of reasons, including those related to primary care, behavioral and mental health, substance abuse, orthopedics, obstetrics, physical therapy, heart and vascular and more. Visit the virtual video visits page to learn more.

Prior to March 2020, Essentia had never conducted a virtual visit. Within weeks of the pandemic’s onset, we were performing up to 3,500 virtual visits per day. Essentia has exceeded 532,000 virtual visits and is set to continue offering them to our patients, along with other telehealth options, even as the number of COVID cases declines.

Virtual appointments are scheduled with the provider of choice at a specific date and time, just like an in-person visit. At a set appointment time, patients will login to the MyHealth portal or MyChart app to start the visit. The patient and provider interact using audio and video like they would if they were together in the exam room. To schedule a virtual appointment with an Essentia Health primary care provider, call (844) 663-1068 or login to MyChart.

And, as always, Essentia Health primary care providers are ready and eager to perform in-person visits to meet their patients’ health care needs.

To schedule an in-person visit with a primary care provider, call (218) 844-2347.