Virtual Visits vs. Urgent Care: What to Know and When to Go


While urgent care is a great option for medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, you can also access healthcare advice from the privacy of your home with Renown Virtual Visits.

Do you have a child too sick to get out of bed? Or maybe you need to discuss their latest lab test results? Or is it you who isn’t feeling up to leaving the house or are unable to make the trip to urgent care to see a provider?  We asked Sangeeta Wagner, D.O., Renown Health Urgent Care, how Renown Health’s Virtual Visitscan help.

What is a Virtual Visit?

Virtual Visits are a secure, video-enabled visit with an urgent care medical provider. They offer you an alternative to a trip to urgent care by using your cell phone, computer or tablet from the comfort of home or wherever you are located.

Virtual Visits


What do you receive during a virtual visit?

  • A secure, private video connection with an urgent care medical provider
  • The opportunity to be seen in as quickly as 30 minutes
  • To use your smartphone, tablet or webcam to see a medical provider without leaving work or home

 To be eligible for a Virtual Visit, you must meet certain criteria such as:

  • Have medical benefits through Hometown Health or Senior Care Plus Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Have a Renown Medical Group primary care provider or pediatrician
  • Have access to a video-enabled PC or mobile device
  • Be enrolled in MyChart

What are some of the common conditions that are appropriate to be treated in a Virtual Visit?

Some of the common conditions we treat over a Virtual Visit are:

  • Bronchitis
  • Sore throat
  • Earaches
  • Lab results
  • Pink eye
  • Nausea/diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Travel medication

How do you know when it’s time to go to the Emergency Room instead of doing a Virtual Visit or going to Urgent Care?

Urgent Care and Virtual Visits are great options when you are experiencing minor illness or injury and it’s too urgent to see your primary care provider. However, you should visit a Renown emergency room or call 911 when you are experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Stroke symptoms (face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech)
  • Shock symptoms (decrease in blood pressure, rapid/weak/absent pulse)
  • Poisoning
  • Chest pain or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe pain