What conditions can be treated using Mercyhealth Virtual Visit Now?
You can participate in a Virtual Visit Now for a wide range of issues, including:
- Seasonal allergies
- Cold, cough, bronchitis and flu
- Sinus and upper respiratory infections
- Conjunctivitis/pink eye
- Skin conditions
- Lower back pain
- Urinary tract infections
Emergency Symptoms — NO
Virtual Visit Now cannot treat emergency medical problems. The American College of Emergency Physicians says the following symptoms should be evaluated at your closest emergency department. If you have these symptoms, call 911 or go to the ER:
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure lasting two minutes or more
- Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
- Changes in vision
- Difficulty in speaking or walking
- Confusion or changes in mental status, unusual behavior
- Sudden or severe pain
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Suicidal or homicidal feelings
- Unusual abdominal pain
Sinus Pain and Pressure — YES
Your symptoms could be caused by an allergy, or a bacterial or viral infection. Our Virtual Visit Now providers will evaluate your sinus problems and suggest treatment options such as over-the-counter and prescription medicines, a humidifier, steam, or others.
Seasonal Allergies — YES
We will discuss your symptoms and offer over-the-counter suggestions or a prescription if needed. NOTE: If you have a sudden allergic reaction due to medicine, food, or bug bites, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.
Sore Throat — MAYBE
Many things can cause a sore throat: allergies, a cold or flu, reflux, dry air, or environmental irritants like smoke. One cause, strep throat, requires testing with a throat swab. This can’t be done during a virtual visit. Our provider will ask about symptoms, recommend treatments for the irritation and pain, and recommend an in-person visit, if needed.
For adults over 18: Strep testing depends on symptoms. Our provider can help you determine if testing is needed, and discuss medicines to help control symptoms.
For children under 18: Strep testing is required as part of a complete evaluation of sore throat. Our providers will tell you where to take your child for testing, and suggest medicines to help control symptoms.
Red Eyes — YES
Red (bloodshot) eyes can be caused by allergy, infection or injury. There might be pain, itching, discharge, swelling or blurry vision. During a virtual visit, we will do a visual exam of your eyes, and talk about your symptoms and treatment options. NOTE: If you have severe eye pain, vision problems or bleeding, or have a foreign body in or trauma to the eye, you should be seen in person.
Ear Pain — MAYBE
A complete evaluation of ear pain is difficult during a virtual visit. If a middle ear infection is suspected, our providers cannot prescribe an antibiotic, but they can tell you how to treat symptoms, then guide you on where to be seen for an in-person diagnosis. We can provide effective treatment options for other ear pain causes, like allergies.
Cough — YES
A cough can be a symptom of viral bronchitis, post-nasal drip, or something serious like pneumonia. We will evaluate your symptoms to determine how serious your cough is and whether further in-person evaluation is necessary. For minor causes of cough, our Virtual Visit Now providers will tell you how to treat symptoms to find relief.
Urinary Pain — MAYBE
Adult women over 18: If certain symptoms suggest a kidney infection, our providers will tell you to quickly have an in-person exam. Otherwise, to treat a simple urinary tract infection (UTI), which is common in women, your provider may prescribe an antibiotic for treatment.
Adult men over 18: UTIs are not very common in men, but kidney or prostate conditions can cause pain. Urinary pain in men generally requires an in-person evaluation and laboratory testing. Our providers will recommend next steps.
Children under 18: A complete evaluation of urinary pain in children is difficult during a virtual visit. Our providers will refer your child to an in-person exam.
Lower Back Pain — YES
A Virtual Visit Now provider can evaluate and recommend treatment options for mild to moderate lower back pain. Some symptoms can indicate serious causes of back pain. In these cases, we will suggest you have an in-person evaluation. NOTE: Virtual Visit Now providers do not prescribe controlled substances, such as opiate pain medicine.
Skin Problems: Minor Burns, Rashes, Infections — YES
Your Virtual Visit provider can view the affected area, make a diagnosis, and offer treatment. We recommend that you send a picture of your problem to the provider before your virtual visit. You can also show a video of the area to the provider during your visit. (Use good lighting and a clear close-up to show the affected area.)
“I Need a Primary Care Provider” — NO
Virtual Visit Now specializes in quick and convenient care for minor urgent care issues. We cannot treat chronic health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma. If you need a primary care provider, please visit the Find a Doctor page or call Mercyhealth Line at (888) 396-3729.
“I Need to Refill My Prescription.” — NO
Our providers do not order refills for long-term medicines that address chronic health problems. Please contact your regular provider. If you need a primary care provider, please visit the Find a Doctor page or call Mercyhealth Line at (888) 396-3729.
Prescription Pain Medication or Other Controlled Substances — NO
By law, health care providers cannot issue prescriptions for controlled substances without seeing the patient in person. Virtual Visit providers are prohibited from prescribing pain medicines. Please contact your regular provider for refills. If you need a primary care provider, please visit the Find a Doctor page or call Mercyhealth Line at (888) 396-3729.
Antibiotics — MAYBE
Antibiotics address only bacterial infections, not viral infections. Bronchitis, for instance, is almost always caused by a viral infection, so antibiotics cannot cure it. Due to problems caused by side effects and antibiotic resistance, Virtual Visit Now providers will not prescribe antibiotics for certain health conditions. Also, some conditions, like strep throat, require a lab test to see if there is a bacterial infection present. In these cases, we will tell you to have an in-person exam.