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Health System Sees Success With E-Visits Via Patient Portal

Portal offers access to physicians without an office visit for certain common symptoms

doctor using computer

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patient portals can successfully offer access to physicians without office visits, according to a report published online May 30 by the American Medical Association.

Novant's new patient portal, MyNovant, has more than 720,000 users and allows patients to message their clinician, request prescription renewals, schedule appointments, and download their medical record. New patients can schedule appointments, and patients can also schedule time for an urgent-care visit. In addition, the e-visit feature has been launched, with 16,500 e-visits made so far.

Symptoms that qualify for an e-visit include sinus problems, red eye, diarrhea, cough, vaginal discharge, urinary issues, and back pain, as well as pediatric ringworm, pediatric swimmer's ear, and pediatric lice. Patients must answer all questions presented, and the information goes to the physician's nurse pool. If the nurse decides that the request is a good candidate for an e-visit, the information goes through to a physician. The patient receives a response within four hours of submitting their request. The fee for an e-visit is $30 for patients whose insurance companies won't cover it.

"Feedback on the e-visit has been positive, with 95 percent or more of patients rating other aspects of the e-visit as 'good' or 'very good,' including timeliness of response, likelihood of recommending, receiving the right information for the treatment, ease of initiating an e-visit, and needs being taken care of through the e-visit," according to the report.

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