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


If you’re experiencing a cold or flu-like symptoms, did you know you could see a healthcare provider without leaving the comfort of your home or exposing others to illness?

Renown’s Virtual Visits videoconference service allows you to see an urgent care provider from your home or office using a cellphone, computer or tablet with video capabilities. It is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Our Virtual Visits website on has more details, including how to request a virtual visit. 

Read on to learn more about virtual visits.

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.

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
  • Access services via a smartphone, tablet or webcam without leaving work or home

Who is eligible for virtual visits?

You are eligible for a virtual visit with the following:

  • Medical benefits through Hometown Health or Senior Care Plus Medicare Advantage Plan
  • A Renown Medical Group primary care provider or pediatrician
  • Access to a video-enabled PC o mobile device
  • MyChart enrollment

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:

  • Cold and flu-like symptoms
  • 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 versus Virtual Visit or 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. For colds and flu-like symptoms, visit urgent care of the emergency room if you are unable to eat or drink anything and may be dehydrated, have a fever over 102.5 degrees F or are experiencing shortness of breath. 

However, you should visit a Renown ER 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


  1. My Chart has become a huge and invaluable resource for me- a savings of time and energy- for my PCP too. Now I envision that virtual care will be taking some of the load off of my urgent care visits. Thanks for providing these supplemental resources!
  2. I really appreciate you helping me learn more about urgent care and virtual visits. It really helped when you have provided the differences between the two most especially the list of common conditions that are intended for each. This article is very useful and informative, let me commend you for a job well done. Thanks for your care!