WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The thought of sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, sitting near other sick patients, is enough to keep some people from seeing a doctor at all. They worry they will pick up more germs than they already have. Now, one group of doctors is offering patients some different options.

When possible, Ascension Medical Group (AMG) Via Christi will let patients choose a virtual doctor’s visit via their cell phone, tablet, laptop or desktop device. It’s called a Virtual Provider Office, or VPO.

“With the continued surge of the delta and omicron COVID-19 variants, the health and safety of our
patients and our communities is our top priority,” Dr. Philip Newlin, the clinics’ chief medical officer, said. “Virtual visits are one way to help reduce the risk for infection.”

VPO visits are not right for every situation. They are best suited for patients with acute, non-emergent or chronic conditions who have a basic comfort level with technology. Those types of visits might include medication management for conditions ranging from diabetes to depression to post-procedure follow-up care.

Patients should call their AMG Via Christi physician’s office to determine which visit type is the right option for their situation and need. That could include coming into the office, telephone services or a video telemedicine visit. In some cases, that could mean delaying the visit until after the COVID-19 impact has faded.

● If a visit to the clinic is needed, patients will be asked about symptoms on arrival to ensure their
safety and that of other patients.
● If a visit over the telephone is warranted, a call will be scheduled with their provider.
● If a video telemedicine visit is appropriate, staff will guide patients through the process of signing
up through a mobile device or computer.
● An immediate care visit may be another option. The clinic offers same-day services by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 316-274-8107.

“The goal is to provide the right care at the right time in the most appropriate setting to our patients,”
Newlin said.

Ascension Online Care is another virtual option, open to anyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, go to ascension.org/onlinecare. To find an Ascension Medical Group Via Christi physician, go to getviachristicare.com.