Patients Can Receive Diagnosis, Care Plan Without Leaving Home
Sick patients who do not feel like leaving the house or patients who struggle getting away from work during the day are tapping into eVisits, a ThedaCare service that allows patients to reach out to their medical providers electronically.
During an eVisit, patients log on to their MyThedaCare private web account and select what they want to be “seen” for and answer questions specific to their ailment. An eVisit can be used for the following conditions: acne, pinkeye, diaper rash, influenza, lice, seasonal and environmental allergies, upper respiratory/sinus illness, urinary tract infections, stomach flu and vaginal yeast infections.
After receiving the patient’s request and reading through their answers, I respond via MyThedaCare within two hours or usually sooner, providing a plan of care and a prescription, if needed. In addition to reading through the responses, I can access the patient’s medical record, check current prescriptions and review drug allergies. When the eVisit is over, I save the information in the patient’s medical record.
Patients tell me they like eVisits since they can stay home rather than coming in and possibly infect others or they like the convenience of not worrying about squeezing in a clinic visit on already busy day.
I like that the patient’s regular medical provider or a colleague the one responding to the eVisit request. I know my patients well so when a request comes in, I can rely on that personal history as I put together my response.
ThedaCare handled 2,100 eVisits in 2016, and 98 percent of patients surveyed found the format to be easy or very easy to use. The same number plan to use eVisits again. The average physician response time to a patient’s eVisit request in 2016 was 20 minutes.
The eVisit service is available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and costs $35, which is less than an office visit.
To request an eVisit, patients must have a ThedaCare primary care physician and a MyThedaCare account. Current patients without a MyThedaCare account can can create one at www.thedacare.org or contact their provider’s office to get an access code. MyThedaCare is a great resource for patients since it allows you to send free messages their provider’s office, request prescription refills, schedule appointments, view test results and access their medical history.
The eVisit is a great option for patients with one of the covered conditions to receive a fast, convenient diagnosis and treatment plan, which means they can begin to feel like themselves more quickly.
Scott Schuldes is a certified family nurse practitioner at ThedaCare Physicians-Darboy.