E-visit Saves Trip to the Doctor's Office

Contact: Heather Woolwine
Aug 22, 2016

CHARLESTON, SC – MUSC patients, who sometimes struggle with getting time off work or a fast appointment for routine illnesses, can now reach MUSC Health providers for routine treatments via the ease of modern technology.
“In addition to the benefits of saving time and in some cases, money, this service will enhance follow-up care and increase the quality of care for our patients,” said Ed O’Bryan, M.D., e-Visit program medical director. “It provides the opportunity for your doctor or another MUSC provider to review your condition, access your health history and work with you to create a treatment plan for uncomplicated illnesses and diagnoses. We’ve seen really positive feedback during our pilot phase with MUSC employees and are very excited to offer this to all current and new MUSC patients.”

E-visits are electronic medical appointments that let patients with certain non-emergency health conditions go online, answer a few questions and get a response from an MUSC Health provider, usually within an hour, through MUSC Health MyChart.

O’Bryan said at $25 per visit, e-visits are a lot less expensive than urgent care or emergency department fees. “They’re also able to save gas and transportation costs by not traveling to their doctor’s office, and patients’ regular doctors can see the details of the e-visits through MyChart.”

But e-visits aren’t the answer for everything, he said. They are not indicated for all of the conditions for which a person may need to see a doctor, and are not intended to take the place of in-person visits. Instead, e-visits are viewed as a complement to the relationship between the patient and MUSC Health by increasing access for treatment. If an e-visit is not appropriate, a patient will be referred for an in-person visit.

E-visits are part of an effort at MUSC Health to make health care as convenient as possible for patients. Another aspect of that push: video visits. A new or existing patient uses a web cam for a real-time appointment with a doctor. Video visits are currently available through some MUSC Health doctors, and there are plans to expand that to include a wider range of providers.

MUSC Health CEO Patrick Cawley, M.D., has played a key role in developing both video visits and e-visits. “At MUSC, we know that through telehealth, we can deliver world class medical care wherever the patient would like to receive it. This could be at home, a doctor’s office, another hospital or even while traveling anywhere in the world.”

About MUSC Health
MUSC Health is the clinical enterprise of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), comprised of a 700-bed medical center, the MUSC College of Medicine and the physician’s practice plan. It serves patients across South Carolina and beyond through four hospital facilities in Charleston and more than 100 outreach sites. Among these are the Hollings Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated center in the state, and a nationally recognized Children’s Hospital. The Medical University was founded in 1824 and has become a premiere academic health sciences center at the forefront of the latest advances in medicine, with world-class physicians, scientists and groundbreaking research and technology that is often the first of its kind in the world. Visit Muschealth website for more information.