Published on April 21, 2020

Essentia Health use of virtual care during COVID-19 pandemic soars

In less than one month, well over 46,000 visits have been completed

Essentia Health is leading the country in their robust use of virtual visits to ensure the high quality of care that our patients have come to expect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Essentia’s first virtual visit was conducted on March 18, 2020 and since then Essentia Health has conducted more than 46,000 virtual visits and the number grows every day. Nearly 3,000 visits are occurring each day and at any given moment, with more than 100 visits happening simultaneously. In the Brainerd Lakes Area over 5,700 virtual visits have been conducted over the past month, allowing patients to continue care while honoring social distancing and reducing risk.

Patients can now schedule a virtual visit, which is a video appointment that occurs directly between a provider and a patient. The patient can do the visit from the comfort of their home and utilize their own technology such as a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Patients are appreciative of being able to continue necessary doctor appointments without having to leave their homes. For Tim and Barb Daniels, being able to meet with their regular primary care provider allowed them to continue their ongoing care. They both have had virtual video visits with their doctor, Dr. Dunphy, and found they were able to ask as many questions as needed. “I really like that we didn’t need to go in,” said Barb. “I’ve had three colon surgeries. It’s good to know we can keep up on our care without comprising our health by going in during this time. We got all the care we needed.” The Daniels live on Fish Trap Lake, which is a 40 minute drive one way to the Brainerd Lakes Area Essentia Health Clinics. “This saved us a lot of time”, added Barb. “We are very pleased with that!”

Essentia Health is using virtual visits in areas you might not expect such as , orthopedics, heart & vascular, obstetrics, physical therapy visits. Both new and existing patients are being seen via virtual visits for their appointments. Virtual visits can be scheduled by calling your local Essentia Health clinic.

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