Healthcare in aisle 7…That’s
what many consumers want. Whether it is provided at a grocery store, urgent
care center or the local pharmacy, people have voted with their feet in
selecting the easiest way to get care fast. In the ever-escalating hustle
and bustle of life, speedy, efficient and convenient medical care delivery must
be a part of the solution.
|G. Daniel Martich, M.D. |
That’s why UPMC started
developing electronic visits - known as eVisits - several years ago. These virtual doctor’s appointments can turn every day health aggravations into past problems
in the most convenient location possible: from home or wherever a patient
chooses to access the Internet.
The good news is that a new study by Pitt and UPMC researchers
demonstrates that for two non-urgent conditions, sinusitis and urinary tract
infections, an eVisit is similar in just about every way to a face-to-face
office visit - without the hassle of travel and parking.
However, we also found that eVisit
patients were more likely to receive antibiotics, a concern because misuse of
antibiotics across the country is leading to an increase in so-called “super
bugs” resistant to these life-saving drugs. When physicians can’t directly
examine a patient, they may be more likely to take the “safe” route and order
antibiotics. It’s also possible that the sickest patients who can’t make it to
the doctor’s office are using eVisits and need antibiotics more often. We’ll be
studying this further to ensure that eVisits produce the best results possible
for our patients.
eVisits are now offered via
every UPMC primary care physician’s office, covering more than 25 common
conditions, including cold, flu and sore throat. Each of our 130,000 HealthTrak
patient portal members can securely submit an eVisit from the comfort of home
or from a computer just about anywhere in the world. So if back
pain has you laid up, try an eVisit and you won’t need to call us in the