MidMichigan Health Surpasses 100,000 Virtual Visits
Virtual care combines technology and human interaction to help patients get the care they need, when and where they need it. (l to r: Thomas Wood, MBA, BSN, RN, Director of Trauma & Virtual Care; Ashley Selle-Colby, BSN, RN, CTCP, Virtual Care RN Analyst; Steven Blodgett, MBA, CPM, CTC, CHAM, VC-DSE, Virtual Care Manager; Nicole Pohl, BS, Virtual Care Analyst; Kelli Kolka, BS, Virtual Care Analyst II.)
This composite image was created safely. Staff, patients and visitors wear masks in our facilities.
MidMichigan Health recently celebrated the milestone of providing 100,000 virtual visits since the inception of its virtual care program in 2016. According to MidMichigan’s virtual health experts, this milestone was the result of early system-wide investment in the technology coupled with a dramatic increase in demand for virtual care services during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“MidMichigan Health chose to invest in virtual care and make it a priority long before it was mandated by a global pandemic,” said Tom Wood, M.B.A., B.S.N., R.N., director of trauma and virtual care for the health system. “Our program was driven by our goals to improve access to advanced specialists and offer the same high-quality of standard of care throughout the service area. The experience and infrastructure we have developed over the years also enabled us to quickly respond and expand to new services when COVID-19 required it.”
Due to the rural nature of MidMichigan Health’s service area, the health system was an early adopter of telemedicine, enabling patients in even the most remote areas to consult with advanced specialists. For example, all of MidMichigan’s Emergency Rooms partner with Michigan Medicine’s Telestroke program, providing 24/7 access to highly specialized neurologists for rapid stroke diagnosis and treatment that can save lives and improve functional outcomes. The health system also offers telemedicine consults with a wide variety of specialists ranging from psychiatry to cardiology to nephrology.
The program has since expanded to include video visits and e-visits that a patient can complete from home plus e-consults that enable providers to collaborate electronically through the patient’s chart. The health system offers patients the option of having a video visit with their own MidMichigan Health provider, rather than a third-party teledoc service. This ensures that the provider is familiar with the patient and has access to their medical chart for improved safety and continuity of care.
“Virtual care combines technology and human interaction to help patients get the care they need, when and where they need it,” said Steven Blodgett, M.B.A., C.H.A.M., V.C.-D.S.E., C.T.C., C.P.M., virtual care manager, MidMichigan Health. “Options such as telemedicine, e-visits and video visits enable patients to get medical advice or treatment remotely, saving them time and travel while connecting them to the appropriate specialists. By providing these virtual care options, we have saved more than 1.5 million miles in travel for our patients. Other options make everyday tasks faster and easier, such as online appointment booking, e-check in, viewing test results and medical records electronically, renewing prescriptions electronically and more.”
MidMichigan Health currently offers these Virtual Care options:
- E-Visits for Specific Symptoms
- Video Visits with your Primary Care Provider
- MyMidMichigan Patient Portal
- Virtual Post-Op Appointments
Those who would like to learn more about these options may visit www.midmichigan.org/virtualcare.