The doctor is in — 24 hours a day

When his mom forwarded him an email about InstaCare, Bryce Dubson never thought he’d need it so soon.

With InstaCare—a secure virtual option—patients interact anytime with doctors who provide medical advice, prescriptions and referrals at an affordable price.

With two children under 4, the Dubson family is always looking for ways to save. When a situation arose to give it a whirl, he did—on the day the service launched and was the first patient seen.

“The cost savings was huge for us. $49 versus $400 for a 15-minute visit in the office,” Dubson said.

Cost savings, yes, but the care provided is just as valuable. InstaCare is currently staffed by MDLive doctors licensed in Illinois, but  as soon as training is completed it will be staffed by familiar faces from Carle.

“As the industry changes, so too do our doctors,” said Sally Salmons, MD, medical director for Primary Care, Pediatric Subspecialties, Medical Specialties, Transitional Care Services and Regional Health. “Today, you have to pursue helping patients in new ways, making it more convenient and quick for them.”

Dubson said sign-up was quick and easy. Connecting to a physician in just minutes to discuss youngest daughter Whitney, 1, was worth every penny.

‘’I uploaded a photo of her eye and found out quickly this was a common issue, and we were back on our way,” he said.

Shawn Skinner and his family of five plus even more family membersInstaCare powered by MDLive said Carle’s launch was the most successful ever. Registrations for the service remain strong at 49, indicating parents like Shawn Skinner of St. Joseph are planning ahead.

“When kids need to see the doctor for something routine like allergies, not only are they missing school, but I’m missing work,” Skinner said.

Parents can easily avoid this double-whammy by using InstaCare—from living room or on a mobile device. Using video chat from any device, patients with non-emergency needs can feel better faster without time in a waiting room. Patients can download the app at Carle.org/InstaCare.

With five kids ranging in age from 13-20, the Skinner household is active. A father, teacher and coach in St. Joseph-Ogden school district, he believes InstaCare will satisfy in multiple ways.

“Sometimes it’s tough to get an appointment for routine seasonal things like allergies and asthma when over-the-counter just won’t do,” Skinner said, adding, “The convenience for chronic conditions is what appeals most to me.”

Carle expects InstaCare’s use to increase as temperatures drop and school resumes.

“Think of that mom with a 5-year-old,” CEO of Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center Harry Brockus said. “At 2 a.m., that child wakes up wheezing from a bad cough or complains about her ear hurting. Rather than rushing out to the emergency room, InstaCare connects the family with a doctor in a matter of minutes.”

Timesaving while maintaining quality of care is a strength—one that appeals to many families. Skinner said the parents he interacts with in the community and on the gridiron have been asking for this and are excited Carle added the service to its roster of time-savers on MyCarle.com.

“We all skirt that line of ‘is it bad enough to see a doctor or stay home?’ and now there’s a quick, affordable way to speak with a healthcare professional to guide you right away,” Skinner said.