Illness is Inconvenient; Getting Medical Care Shouldn’t Be
By Seth Hawkins
Oct 5, 2016
Updated Jul 13, 2023
5 min read
For people with busy schedules and odd work hours it can be difficult to find time to go to the doctor’s office for care, especially since many medical clinic hours overlap when people traditionally work. Sometimes, people put off going to the doctor because they can’t break away from work, can’t fit it in their schedule, or believe they can beat the illness on their own. But this can come with negative side effects, says Dr. William Daines, Medical Director for Intermountain Connect Care.
“Just as it is important to fix a minor leak in a pipe before the whole thing bursts, dealing with a minor health care problem in the early phase of illness can often prevent something more serious,” says Dr. Daines. “There are many reasons to get healthcare problems dealt with sooner rather than later, but most importantly, we want patients to get back to the important things in their lives—family, work, play—as soon as possible instead of letting an illness drag on.”
Connect Care, a new TeleHealth service offered by Intermountain Healthcare, is working to make healthcare more convenient for patients. Taking time off from work to go to the doctor isn’t always possible or convenient, but Connect Care is available 24/7/365 to help patients with minor to moderate urgent care issues. Common conditions seen include sinus infections, cough or bronchitis, urinary pain, red or pink eye, sore throat, and rashes.
The Connect Care service, available on iOS, Android or the web, quickly connects patients with a licensed provider using the video chat capabilities of the internet-connected device. Typical wait times are less than 5 minutes and most visits take about 10 minutes.
“Connect Care visits can easily be completed during a lunch break, while waiting for a flight, or while the kids are napping,” says Dr. Daines. “Connect Care makes it easy for anyone who can’t make it to the clinic during typical hours, or who lives or works far away from medical offices, to have a visit with a provider any time they need it.”
While Connect Care doesn’t replace a primary care provider, or the emergency room for serious immediate medical problems, it can serve as a helpful resource for people looking for a convenient, affordable solution. With a flat $49 cost per visit (or less with partnered insurance), a Connect Care visit is inexpensive compared with other options for urgent care. If further in-person evaluation and treatment is required patients are referred to a physician’s office and the Connect Care visit fee is waived.
Decades ago, doctors made house calls, a convenient patient-centered healthcare option. As communities grew, and medical technologies advanced, medical clinics opened. This meant more convenient arrangements for doctors, but a higher degree of inconvenience to patients. Connect Care is one of many efforts being made in the healthcare industry to make healthcare more convenient for patients.
In today’s fast-paced world, people are looking for ways to simplify their lives with added convenience — on-demand video, fast delivery, car rides available at the tap of a button — and technology is making this possible. The demand for high quality, convenient, and inexpensive care when and where it is needed is what drove the development of the Connect Care technology, says Dr. Daines.
“Connect Care allows patients to have a video visit in a safe, effective, and inexpensive way that wasn’t previously available. This is part of the promise of better technology in the healthcare world,” says Dr. Daines.
The free Connect Care app can be downloaded any time in advance so you’re ready if the need arises for a visit.