Accessing timely care can be a challenge, thanks to busy schedules and many hospitals experiencing long waits. Virtual care makes it easy to get the support you need, when you need it, through a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Here’s a first-hand account of how our plan member, Amanda, successfully navigated virtual care for the first time.

Red spots popped up on my 4-year-old daughter’s hands, and a few choice words not fit for print popped into my head.

I try not to go worst-case-scenario. But when my daughter woke up with that strange rash, the first thing that came to mind was what every parent dreads: hand, foot and mouth disease.

Of course, this all happened on a weekend. When I checked the wait times for our local Emergency Room (ER), it was going to take hours to see a doctor. And all the appointments at the walk-in clinic were booked for the day.

While this rash wasn’t an urgent emergency, it was still concerning. And since the pandemic, I’ve been even more cautious about health-related issues.

What do I do?

I remembered we had this “thing” on my benefit plan called virtual care. Now, I was hesitant to use it at first because I didn’t know how it worked. Sometimes new technology scares me. But I was slightly desperate. Curious to explore virtual care as an option to avoid a multi-hour ER wait, I signed in to the Alberta Blue Cross® member site. Within 5 minutes, I was connected online with a practitioner. That’s it. Done. Super simple.

I was then triaged by a lovely woman who asked for some photos and then put me into a video chat with a nurse practitioner who looked at my daughter’s rash.

Were we both still in our pajamas? You bet.

Did I look like a hot mess? Absolutely.

Did I need to leave my sea of laundry and go sit in a waiting room for hours? Nope.

Virtual care allows you to connect with physicians and other health care providers online. You can get health care services from licensed Canadian providers from the convenience and comfort of your home.

I saved so much time and most importantly, was given peace of mind that my daughter did not have hand, foot and mouth disease. When we woke up the next day, the rash was gone. And thanks to virtual care, precious hours of my weekend weren’t spent sitting in a waiting room. 

How to access virtual care

If your benefits coverage includes virtual care, registration is quick. All you have to do is sign in to the member site  and follow the steps. You’ll need to have the information found on your Alberta Blue Cross® ID card.

Then, you and your dependents can use the TELUS Health mobile app or website to connect with a health care provider. Virtual care is available 24/7 in English and French. You will receive the support of a dedicated team of doctors and other health care professionals so you can navigate the next steps in receiving care. 

Virtual care is great for anyone who may have a non-emergent health concern, including those with reduced mobility or even people evacuated from their homes due to a natural disaster. While virtual care is not intended to replace a family doctor, therapist or other in-person medical services, virtual care providers can advise on treatment for most medical concerns.

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