Woman with cold

Primary Care | 8 months ago

First Available Sick Visit: Primary Care When and Where You Need It

The new first available sick visit capability provides a seamless way for patients to schedule primary care sick appointments, allowing them to receive care when and where they need it.

As we’re quickly approaching cold and flu season, more people will be making primary care appointments. The busier your doctor’s office gets, the more difficult it may be to get an appointment when you need it. When you’re not feeling well, it’s important to have access to quick, convenient care.

Atrium Health Primary Care has several convenient options when immediate care is needed, including urgent care video visits (available 24/7), eVisits and primary care video visits. But with certain acute conditions, getting to see a primary care provider the same day or the next day is ideal. That’s why we now offer first available sick visits.

This capability allows Atrium Health patients to choose the first available appointment across all primary care locations and see a provider as quickly as possible – often within 24 to 48 hours.

“It connects patients with the care they need – where they need it, when they need it,” explains Dr. Daniel Davis, specialty medical director of internal medicine for Atrium Health Primary Care. “This helps patients avoid delays in care as well as unnecessary trips to the emergency department or hospital.”

How to schedule an appointment

Patients can schedule a first available sick visit:

  1. App/Website. After opening the MyAtriumHealth app or logging into the AtriumHealth.org website, select 'visit' from the home screen. Next, select the 'Schedule an Appointment' button and choose the 'Adult Sick Visit' option. This will allow you to pick the practices closest to you with the earliest availability..
  2. Call your doctor's office and they can help you schedule at any office. Our staff has access to the appointment schedule for all Atrium Health Primary Care practices.

Eligible illnesses and symptoms

  • First available sick visits are ideal for scheduling appointments related to time-sensitive medical needs, including acute respiratory illnesses such as colds, flus and bronchitis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Abdominal pain
  • Minor injuries that require in-person care

Sometimes patients have other urgent medical needs related to a chronic condition or illness that may require a timely appointment.

For example, Davis explains, you may have experienced high blood pressure or high blood sugar for several days. Or maybe you went to the emergency department and you were told to see a primary care physician for follow-up care.

“We’re used to managing these chronic conditions and illnesses,” Davis says. “We can look at your chart, adjust your medication and then refer you back to your home primary care provider for follow-up. We can manage problems from chronic illnesses promptly, which helps keep you out of the hospital.”

A first available sick visit can be used to schedule both in-person and virtual appointments with the first available doctor. In general, this capability is not recommended for well visits or physicals, which should be managed by your main primary care doctor.

Making a positive impact

Davis has been hearing positive feedback from patients about first available sick visits, namely that it’s convenient and easy to use.

“It’s incredibly rewarding as a physician to provide care to a greater variety of patients who need timely care,” Davis says. “Patients who receive timely care tend to be very happy and satisfied.”

In addition, the first available sick visit capability gives Davis an added sense of security, knowing his patients will have an expert backup provider if he’s unavailable. 

Whether you’re focused on preventive care, or you need time-sensitive sick care, Atrium Health Primary Care can help! As the region's most preferred health care provider, we're making primary care easier and better for you and your family. Easily schedule your next appointment  or call 24/7 at 1-844-235-6997.