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It is easy to imagine all of the circumstances that may prevent patients from receiving the care they need: unexpected weather conditions, transportation barriers, childcare challenges, and even work-related concerns. These common situations often mean patients must delay their care or put off receiving any care at all, causing problems down the road. In an effort to expand access to quality health care across the state, Logan Health’s virtual health services provide another option. Virtual health is a way of accessing care that accounts for the realities of life and meets patients where they are, improving access for everyone.

Virtual health removes barriers to care

Logan Health’s virtual services continue to expand, now offering many ways to connect with a provider virtually, including through home-based appointments, on-demand care and after-hours pediatric care. Scheduled home-based visits are the typical virtual care experience and can be a great option when providers are far away. For those who need prompt care for common concerns, such as sickness, pink eye, rashes or medication refills, Logan Health On-Demand Virtual Care connects them with a provider right away to resolve those issues. Likewise, Logan Health partners with the platform Montana Pediatrics to provide parents with after-hours pediatric care from Montana-based providers. With all of these options, the right care is just a click away.

Removing barriers to care is not just convenient. It greatly improves the lives of our patients. In 2023, Logan Health hosted roughly 18,000 virtual visits, saving a grand total of 2.4 million miles of travel and $400,000 in fuel. Logan Health On-Demand hosted 400 visits, and 65 of those patients reported that they wouldn’t have received care anywhere else if the virtual services had not been available. Patients were also pleased with the setup, and 85% of them said they would recommend virtual care to their friends and family. With experience using our intuitive platforms, patients of all ages expressed that the method of connecting was easy, contradicting the misconception that virtual care is only used by younger patients. In fact, the oldest telehealth patient served last year was 98 years old. Patients of all ages are pleased with this new way of receiving care, and their providers are just as excited.

Lauren Gary, FNP-C, is one of more than 300 clinicians who provides telehealth services through Logan Health Virtual Care. She has seen firsthand how this new kind of care changes patients’ lives. “I started offering telehealth visits about four years ago and quickly fell in love with how easy and convenient it was for my patients. It allows our remote patients to have easier access to care, and for families with young children, it makes visits less stressful. For those with elderly patients or loved ones, it removes the complexity of getting them to and from the office.”

Another benefit of virtual care is flexible scheduling. “In my opinion, the best thing about telehealth is the opportunity to be more available for my patients,” said Lauren. “This allows them to get in sooner, discuss their specific health needs, and most importantly, get them feeling better faster.”

Patients have expressed so much gratitude to providers like Lauren for these services. “I did not feel like going to an urgent care,” one patient wrote. “My doctor listened and was a compassionate provider. The nurses rocked. They gave me assurance and walked me through the connection process. Thank you for offering this type of care.”

Some loved that it helped them reclaim their time, “I love not having to drive over an hour round trip to have a check up and blood review!” Others were in situations where care would normally be inaccessible, “I was out camping, got sick, and was able to connect with my doctor. It was very convenient and allowed me to get the medications I needed.” All patients knew that their care was important and that they mattered. “This really feels more patient-centered. Thank you for making it easier to get care.”

In all of these ways and more, virtual health is eliminating the boundaries and barriers of receiving essential care. By improving access, patients save resources, have a more comfortable experience and get back to what matters in life. The providers and staff at Logan Heath are excited to offer this new level of care and see it expand to meet the needs of patients all over the state.