MT. VERNON (WSIL) — When you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is drive to a doctor’s office and wait to see the physician.
Now residents in southern Illinois, with or without insurance, don’t have to. SSM Good Samaritan has launched virtual visits on its website for new and existing patients.
Erin Powell, System Director for Retail Health, says it’s for everyday ailments, "Common cough, cold, sore throat, urinary tact infection, skin rashes, eye infections."
Users answer questions about their symptoms and provide basic medical information such as allergies and any medications that they are currently taking.
Within an hour, a physician will phone or video call with treatment options, or email a prescription to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice.
Jodi Carpenter, who oversees SSM Express Centers in Mt.Vernon and Centralia, says this will be beneficial for residents who have to drive long distances to see a doctor.
"It’s a rural area so this makes it easier for patients to get the care that they need," Carpenter explains.
If the user needs to see a physician in person, SSM staff will help schedule an appointment at one of their Express clinics or the patient’s primary care physician.
"It’s never a, ‘Sorry, we can’t help you. Good luck," Powell says. "We are there to guide the patient."
The cost is $25, and patients are only charged once they are given treatment options.