It’s 5 am and you haven’t been able to sleep all night. Your sinuses are acting up again and you have a pounding face-ache. Thinking about taking the time for a visit to your clinic makes your head hurt even more. It just isn’t an option, at least not today. What do you do?
Sit down with your tablet or computer and reach out to MyChart for an E-visit. Fill out a simple form online and an experienced nurse practitioner, well-versed in all aspects of family medicine, will get back to you. They promise it will be within one hour if you email Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5:30 pm and on weekends between 10 am and 5:30 pm. You will get more than a nurse line, you will have care from a seasoned provider who can dispense health information, deliver a treatment plan, and write a prescription that can be picked up at your neighborhood pharmacy or Hennepin County Medical Center later the same day. And it is still affordable at $35 a visit, even if your insurance doesn’t cover the cost.
E-visits are available to anyone signed up for MyChart, not just Hennepin employees. Patients fill out an online questionnaire that has them describe their condition, whether they have a fever, been out of the country, if this is a recurring problem and other pertinent information. They submit the questionnaire and a provider emails back within an hour during business hours. Sometimes there is a telephone call involved, and Bryan Nelson, MD, a Family Practice physician from Hennepin’s Golden Valley Clinic is on-call if anything comes up that they can’t handle.
E-visits are available seven days a week for non-urgent conditions such as cough, diarrhea, red eye, urinary tract infections, sinus infections and other conditions experienced by otherwise healthy people.
E-visits have been available since July. “Some conditions are too complicated, but most of what we see is easily treated in this way,” says one of the online providers, Family Nurse Practitioner Norma Glanz, DNP, MSN, RN. “People love it. It is innovative, creative, convenient, and meets a need that is out there.” Glanz is also a former lactation consultant and loves to get emails from new mothers and parents with sick children. E-visits can be done for anyone aged 18 months to adult.
Family Nurse Practitioner Lisa Ocker, MSN, RN, is just as enthusiastic. “We provide care that is affordable, easy, accessible, no hassle, no need to worry about transportation getting to the clinic. Simple, but acute conditions that don’t require a physical exam are easily treated online,” says Ocker. “We especially love treating our Hennepin employees. One woman emailed this early this morning and had her prescription by her lunch break. She might have wasted a lot of time waiting to get into Urgent Care.”