MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A person’s first thought after that first cough, runny nose or fever may be to go to the emergency room.
However, the medical community is hoping people with flu symptoms would actually stay at home and get the care they need online.
“So why should you have to go to a minor emergency clinic or even the emergency room, sit there for six hours behind everyone else who has the flu to get your prescription when you can do it all electronically,” said Dr. William Light with the Baptist Memorial Group.
He says telemedicine is the future of medicine. Dr. Light uses a web portal called “My Chart” that allows patients to not only schedule a video conference with their own doctor -- the application also allows patients to conduct an “E-visit” where patients can fill out a simple questionnaire to find out if your symptoms match that of the flu.
The doctor can electronically send a Tamiflu prescription to a patient’s local pharmacy.
The “My Chart” application allows patients to get the care they need without ever having to step foot in the doctor’s office.
“The sooner you take the Tamiflu, the faster you get better from the flu, if you take too long the medicines don’t work,” said Dr. Light.
The flu is very contagious and keeping infected patients out of the public is the only way to keep it from spreading. Baptist Memorial Group is also implementing a policy in light of the Coronavirus.
The coronavirus has not been found in the Mid-south, however, Dr. Light thinks it’s just a matter of time before it enters this area.
Wuhan China is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
Baptist ER staff got a memo Monday morning requiring the admission to staff to ask patients if they recently returned from the Chinese Province or been in contact with someone from the area.
They are also asking if you have flu symptoms.
Light says if you answer yes to any of those questions than they remove you from the general population so as not to infect anyone else.