As a virtual-first primary care option, Firefly Health offers video visits for both routine and urgent care. There are many conditions that can be treated through video, saving you time so you don’t have to take as much time out of your busy day. Plus, if you’re feeling under the weather, you can continue to rest at home and still get advice from your primary care team.
The choice is always yours to see us in person or over video, but here are our suggestions for when you can see us over video and when it's best to come in to our office:
Here are a few different ways you can connect with your primary care team via virtual visit.
1. Yearly check in
Going to your PCP for an annual visit has historically involved a comprehensive physical exam and extensive lab work. Studies have shown that doing an annual physical exam on a healthy person does not make people healthier.1 At Firefly Health, we’ve re-envisioned how an annual visit can be provided over video, making it more convenient without sacrificing quality.
The annual visit is a time when your Firefly care team updates your medical and family history and learns about your health goals. All of this can be easily accomplished over video.
One piece of information we do want to update every year is your body mass index (BMI). We trust that you can check your weight at home and it’s best to check it at the same time of day for consistency. Adults over the age of 40 years old should also have their blood pressure checked every year, which can be performed at home or at a local pharmacy. Adults between the ages of 18-39 with normal blood pressure only need to have it checked every 3-5 years.
Your yearly check in is also a time to review what cancer screening tests are needed. These are the most common cancer screenings you need and how you can get them:
Not all labs are necessary every year. Frequency of cholesterol screening varies based on your past readings and family history, but if it was normal as a young adult, it can wait a few years to recheck. For some patients who have known medical conditions, like diabetes, or are on medication for high blood pressure, routine labs are more common. Most labs are only indicated when assessing certain symptoms. Talk with your Firefly Care Team about what labs are indicated for you. If you need blood work, we can send you to a lab that is close to your home or work.
2. Feeling under the weather
Many sick visits can also be done virtually. If you have the flu, we prefer to do a video video to decrease exposure to other patients in the facility. Back pain can often be treated over video as well. A lot of information can be gathered from a thorough history and observing certain motions over video. If video is not enough to safely diagnose and treat you, we can also see you in person.
3. Chronic conditions
When you have diagnoses like diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease, it can feel like you spend a lot of time in doctors’ offices. You may still need to visit a specialist from time to time, but we can reduce your trips to an office through in-app messaging or video visits to check in on your home blood sugar or blood pressure readings, follow up on labs, and make changes to medications.
4. Anxiety or depression
Anxiety and depression can be treated over video as well. We will send you a survey through the app to help assess your symptoms and do a thorough evaluation over video. We also have a behavioral health team that will help with doing assessments and guide prescription management by the primary care physician or nurse practitioner.
So, when should you visit us in person?
We want to make access to primary care easy for you; however, there are times when an in-person exam is needed. For instance, if we need to test for strep throat with a swab, need to look in your ears for signs of infection, or if we’re concerned about a heart condition that requires listening to your heart and getting an EKG, we’ll ask you to come into our office.
If you’re unsure which visit type is best for you, send us a message in the Firefly Health app. We can help you figure out the best location for your care, so you have one less thing to worry about.
1Krogsbøll Lasse T, Jørgensen Karsten Juhl, Grønhøj Larsen Christian, Gøtzsche Peter C. General health checks in adults for reducing morbidity and mortality from disease: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ 2012; 345 :e7191