Essentia Health, an integrated health system serving the Midwest, is encouraging both its employees and patients to consider a new online option called virtuwell when seeking treatment for everyday illnesses. Launched in 2010 by HealthPartners, virtuwell is an online convenient care service where for $45, patients can be diagnosed and treated for more than 40 common health concerns.
While Essentia is endorsing the use of virtuwell, virtuwell is also endorsing the use of Essentia. If a patient begins an online visit at virtuwell.com and has symptoms or medical history suggesting that online care is not appropriate, the patient is offered free access to a complete list of local doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics or emergency rooms as appropriate for the condition. Within that directory, Essentia facilities are listed first.