Confused about using Virtual Care? We have support for that! – Michigan Medicine Headlines

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Important points:

  • The Virtual Care support team is improving access and experience for those who find video visits overwhelmed or intimidating.
  • The team guides patients and caregivers step-by-step through the process and helps ensure they have the right technology to access virtual care.
  • If you have patients in your clinic who would benefit from this support, please include a referral letter as part of your next virtual care appointment.

Karen Anders, who lives 2.5 hours away, had a virtual pre-op appointment for surgery with UM Health. During her first visit, she indicated in her Partners in Care questionnaire that she was apprehensive about using the patient portal for virtual care appointments.

The Virtual Care support team received a referral from clinical staff and contacted Mr. Anders.

“They were amazing, beyond amazing. I’m old and can’t read or write about these things,” Anders said. “I was too embarrassed to ask questions because I thought I didn’t understand what they were doing. They made it so easy for me. I couldn’t believe it.”

With UM Health Virtual Care, patients can now access the same world-class care experience they’d have in a doctor’s office, all from the comfort of their own home.

“As a family physician, I see patients of all ages with all kinds of concerns,” said Anna R. Rowley, M.D., director of population medicine at UM Health. “We know many patients have barriers to traditional in-person visits (transportation, time, disabilities, prejudices, etc.) and being able to provide virtual care will help us overcome these barriers. It will further expand our ability to care for our patients.We have embraced this technology to further strengthen our patient relationships in new and exciting ways.”


However, many patients may feel uncomfortable or uneasy about how to receive this type of treatment. They may not have access to the technology or know how to use it.

That’s where the Virtual Care Support Team comes in.

The Virtual Care Support Team works with patients referred by healthcare providers and clerks. Referrals are made on her MiChart during the initial appointment scheduling process or by clinicians who have identified patients who need additional assistance. Referrals also come from social determinants of health questionnaires that patients can complete if they are new to technology or need support.

Once the referral is entered, our team will provide immediate support based on the patient’s needs.

To participate in a Michigan Medicine video visit, patients must have a strong internet connection or mobile phone service, a MyUofMHealth patient portal account, and appropriate apps/hardware.

After reviewing the referral, the team begins by checking if the patient has a portal account. Once an account is set up, the team will work with patients to determine if they need additional support. A common issue is her WIFI access and the team provides a list of her hotspot locations on mobile. We also conduct practice visits with patients to familiarize them with the technology and take steps to connect them to their doctor or healthcare provider at the time of their appointment.

“Our Virtual Care support team supports many patients with different comfort levels through video visits through guided support tailored to their needs,” said Ali Myers, Customer Service Technician for the Virtual Care support team. said Mr. “Our work has gone from patients and their caregivers who just want to refresh themselves or test their devices before booking an actual video visit, to people who are overwhelmed with technology and have concerns about downloading necessary apps or attending medical services. Ranging from patients seeking step-by-step assistance: Book a video visit.

“We also help patients who may be a little apprehensive about booking their first video visit feel at ease after being guided through a test video visit to practice the video visit process.”

The Virtual Support Team started as a pilot project within the Frankel Cardiovascular Center and officially launched at UM Health in January 2023. Since its inception, the team has received over 1,000 referrals.

If you have patients in your clinic who would benefit from this support, please include a referral letter as part of your next virtual care appointment.

Internal program website

Learn more about how to access UM Health Care from home.

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