Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Centers expand virtual visit hours
As a result of their success with virtual visits throughout the pandemic, Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Centers has begun to offer virtual visits from 8 a.m. through midnight.
This expanded offering aims to make care more accessible to patients throughout the greater Chicago area.
Heather Keirnan, vice president of immediate care at Northwestern Medicine, said the health system decided to expand its virtual visit hours after many patients expressed a desire for more scheduling flexibility. In-clinic visit hours will remain the same.
"Throughout the pandemic, we have received great feedback from patients who appreciated our telehealth appointments," Keirnan said. "We began to offer virtual visits as a way to keep patients and staff safe from the virus that causes COVID-19, and we expanded the hours to help patients get the care they need at times that are most convenient for them."
Patients who choose the virtual visit option can reserve appointments online.
During a virtual visit, the patient speaks to an immediate care physician or advanced practice provider over the phone or via video chat.
Virtual visits may be right for patients age 2 and older who experience:
• Cold and cough symptoms, flu symptoms, allergies, sinus pain or a sore throat;
• Minor injuries and accidents;
• Nausea vomiting or diarrhea;
• Pink eye;
• Urinary tract infection;
• Lower back pain.
"In the past our clinics have been open until 8 p.m., so adding another four hours of virtual visits will make it much easier for patients to have fast access to the care they need," Keirnan said. "In some cases patients will need to come in for an in-person appointment, lab tests or medical imaging, but most medical needs can be met through the virtual visits. This is a great response to patient feedback, and we know it will help many members of our community."