Telehealth is easy — here’s how it works

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In the final part of this 3-part series on telehealth at Kaiser Permanente, you can see what it’s like to use telehealth so you can get the most out of your care. Read part 2: When to use telehealth for your care needs.

Telehealth makes it easy to get the care you need and save time along the way. However, it does work differently than a typical office visit. Knowing what to expect — and what to have on hand — can help you get the most out of your care.  

Let’s take a look at all the ways you can get care, how they work, and how to get started with each one.

Already a member? Start using telehealth today.

Phone appointments, video visits, and 24/7 advice are available to all Kaiser Permanente members on day one. Creating an online account on kp.org lets you do even more, like send emails with nonurgent health questions to your care team, have an e-visit, and schedule routine appointments online. 

Video visit

Meet with a doctor or nurse face-to-face — just like an in-person visit.1
 
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Appointment required2

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Available by mobile device or computer

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- 5 to 10 minutes to set up for a video visit
- Visits usually last 15 to 30 minutes


 
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How it works
To schedule a video visit, you can sign in to kp.org or call the 24/7 advice line. Next, make sure you’re set up for your video visit by choosing how you’d like to connect with a doctor or nurse. Either a mobile device or computer is fine. Just be sure it has a front-facing camera.

When it’s time for your appointment, you’ll “check in” virtually on kp.org — or by clicking the link we send you by email or text — to let the doctor or nurse know you’re ready. After they connect, you’ll see them on the video screen and you can use your camera to show them specific symptoms or health issues. The doctor or nurse can both see and hear your health needs, and can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication — just like an in-person visit. 

Phone appointment

Talk with a doctor or nurse over the phone.1

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Appointment required2

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Available by phone

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Visits usually last 15 to 30 minutes


 
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How it works
To schedule a phone appointment, you can sign in to kp.org or call the 24/7 advice line. 

A Kaiser Permanente doctor or nurse will call you to start your visit. From there, it’s just like an in-person visit — without the exam room. The doctor or nurse will diagnose and treat your health concerns, work with you to create a personalized care plan, and prescribe medication as needed.

A care team that knows your needs

Every time you use telehealth at Kaiser Permanente, you’ll connect with someone who can see your full Kaiser Permanente health history and update it in real time. That way, your entire care team has the info they need to give you the right care. No unnecessary questions. No duplicate tests or procedures. No repeating what you’ve said in the past.

E-visit

Fill out an online questionnaire about your symptoms for immediate self-care advice — or get care from a Kaiser Permanente doctor or nurse usually within a few hours. 

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No appointment required

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Available by mobile device or computer

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- Takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete
- Immediate self-care resources
- Personalized care in a few hours, if needed

 

 


 
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How it works
Unlike a typical in-person visit, e-visits are done online without an appointment, so you can start one at any time. After you sign in to kp.org on your mobile device or computer, it’s as easy as telling us what’s wrong (for example, cold and flu, anxiety, or pink eye) and answering some questions about your symptoms.

When you finish, a few things can happen depending on your answers. For minor conditions, we’ll immediately send you some online resources and articles to help you care for your condition on your own, which can help you save time and money. If your condition is more serious — or you need more personalized care — a Kaiser Permanente doctor or nurse will email you usually within a few hours to provide a treatment plan, prescriptions, or appointment recommendations to help ensure you get the care you need.

24/7 advice

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for answers to your health questions or for help getting care.

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No appointment required

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Available by phone

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- Available 24/7
- Calls last about 5 to 20 minutes


 
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How it works
If you have health questions or can’t reach your doctor immediately, you can get advice within minutes — at no cost. Call our licensed medical professionals anytime to:

  • Get advice for a common cold.
  • Find your nearest urgent care.
  • Learn what kind of doctor you need to see.
  • Get help choosing the best way to get care for your needs.

Email

Email your care team to ask nonurgent health questions, follow up on your care plan, and more.

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No appointment required

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Available by mobile device or computer

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Get a reply usually within 2 business days


 
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How it works
When you sign in to kp.org on your mobile device or computer, you can send nonurgent health messages to doctors, nurses, and specialists you’ve seen in the past you’re you can email questions about your coverage to Member Services. To help your doctor assess your health concern, you can even snap a few photos and attach them in your email.

When your care team gets back to you (usually within 2 business days), we’ll send an email to your personal address saying there’s a message waiting for you on kp.org. Remember, all your conversations become part of your electronic health record, so it’s easy for you and your doctors to keep track of past conversations and make informed decisions about your care.

More ways to get care

Depending on where you live, you might have even more ways to get care with telehealth. Learn more at kp.org/getcare.


Footnotes
1. When appropriate and available.
2. On-demand video visits are also available in Colorado. Learn more at kp.org/getcare.