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How to Choose: Telehealth Versus In-Person Visit

Telehealth (also called video, virtual or phone) visits offer great convenience for patients, but there are times an in-person visit is the better – or only – option you should choose. How do you know whether to schedule a telehealth visit or an in-person visit? Use the information below to help you choose.

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Telehealth Visits

Schedule Telehealth Visit

You can see a provider through a telehealth visit for these types of concerns:

  • Common ailments, such as fever, cough, cold or flu
  • Nose and throat, such as sore throat, sinus infections, stuffy nose or hoarseness
  • Respiratory, such as infections, bronchitis, seasonal or pet allergies (If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus/COVID-19, please call our hotline at 440-592-6843)
  • Eye infections, irritations or pink eye
  • Chronic disease management (Diabetes, Headaches, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Weight Management, Smoking Cessation) after you have an established plan with a provider
  • Skin and nails, such as minor burns, rashes, dry skin/eczema, poison ivy/oak, insect bites athlete’s foot, ingrown nails or acne
  • Gastrointestinal, such as heartburn, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Women’s health issues, such as urinary tract infections
  • Joint or back pain/sprains
  • Cuts that do not require stitches

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In-Person Visits

Learn about in-person appointments

You should always see a provider in-person for these concerns:

  • Annual preventive care/physical exam at any age
  • Any reproductive, health-related issues
  • Upset stomach or stomach pain
  • Issues that require a physical exam, such undiagnosed chest or abdominal pain; foot exams for diabetic patients; EKG (electrocardiogram/heart electrical function test), labs, mammograms or other tests and screenings
  • Ongoing new symptoms (such as fatigue or generalized pain) that require a physical exam and other tests
  • Procedures, such as suture removal, breathing treatment, earwax flushing
  • New patients should establish a relationship and rapport with their provider   

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Emergency Department

You should always go to the Emergency Department for:

  • Bleeding that does not stop
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drug or other poisoning
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Major burns
  • Sudden loss of or blurred vision
  • Weakness on one side, drooping of one side of the face (stroke symptoms)

Your MetroHealth care team is always here for you, whether it’s in person or through a telehealth visit.  If you’re not sure what visit type is best for you, call or MyChart message your provider today. If it’s an emergency, call 911 or go to the closest Emergency Department near you.

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