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Virtual Care: FirstHealth Committed to Patient Safety, Health During Uncertain Time

| Date Posted: 4/20/2020

PINEHURST, NC – Although the spread of COVID-19 has changed much about everyday life, FirstHealth of the Carolinas remains committed to quality patient care and is ready to serve patients in new ways that put safety first. Virtual office visits and modified check-in processes are just two of the ways FirstHealth is helping patients receive the care they need.  


“People are anxious, and that’s understandable. Many are properly heeding advice from our leaders to hunker down and stay home while practicing social distancing,” Dr. James Liffrig, medical director of FirstHealth Convenient Care and board-certified family medicine physician with FirstHealth Family Medicine-Seven Lakes, said. “The problem is that illnesses and injuries not related to COVID-19 are still happening, and some people are choosing to stay at home.  We want to take care of people, and we are committed to doing that in a safe way at all our locations.” 


At all seven Convenient Care locations, patients can even take advantage of curbside visits, eliminating the need to come inside a facility.  


For those who need a more detailed evaluation inside a clinic, FirstHealth is allowing patients to register, check-in and wait from their car. Another option is to call (833) 715- 2819 to arrange to have a visit over the phone. 


“We can determine if a telephone visit is appropriate, and if it is, we will call you back,” Liffrig said. “Again, our goal is to reduce the risk of exposure by eliminating long waits in a group setting in a waiting area.” 



Virtual Visits Available at Family Medicine, Primary Care Clinics 


FirstHealth is also expanding virtual care capabilities to its Family Medicine and Primary Care clinics throughout the region. Video visits will allow patients to continue seeing their primary care physician when they need assistance with an acute care or chronic medical issue.  


Dr. Ann Marie Richards, with FirstHealth Family Medicine - Pinehurst, said patients will begin the process with a phone call from a nurse.  


“You will then be able to have a live video visit with your provider,” Richards said. “We can prescribe medications as necessary or schedule imaging or diagnostic services out of our hospital or at a clinic. These visits will take place during our regular clinic hours for our established patients.”  



FirstHealth On the Go Provides Care Anytime, Anywhere 


Another affordable option for patients who may not have a primary care physician or the ability to visit a Convenient Care is FirstHealth On the Go 


The app-based service is available anytime, anywhere on your smartphone. Doctors can treat every member of the family and send necessary prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice. On the Go physicians can treat many common medical conditions, including cold and flu symptoms, allergies, pink eye, sinus problems and skin problems. With consent, notes from your On the Go visit can be shared with your primary care physician. 


Getting started is as simple as downloading the app from your Android or Apple store and registering. Start a visit virtually and see a board-certified physician day or night. The cost of an On the Go visit depends on your health plan, but visits related to COVID-19 are free with coupon code "COVID19FreeVisit." 

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