Bitten By The Flu Bug? Try MedNow-Free Sessions Provide Info
Fremont-With the flu season expected to hit the area soon, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is offering one easy, convenient solution for avoiding crowds and long waits to see physicians or advanced practice providers: Telehealth through a smartphone, laptop or personal computer.
The service, known as MedNow, allows people to connect with a Spectrum Health provider no matter where the patient is in Michigan. Through MedNow, patients can communicate with a provider based in Grand Rapids anytime via video or through e-visits. Patients can typically set up appointments...
... in a few minutes, and be connected to a provider that same day.
Twice a week, Gerber Memorial will be holding free MedNow lunch hours where a health professional will answer questions, provide directions and share general information. People can ask questions about how to get connected on MedNow using their smartphones or other electronic device, for video visits or electronic visits. The sessions will be:
MedNow is also a way for people to see a physician or provider to be treated for flu-like symptoms at a time when access to providers in Newaygo County is a challenge and some providers may be booked for weeks.
“We’ve all experienced waiting for a long time to see a doctor when flu season hits, and MedNow is one way to avoid the lines and get diagnosed quickly,” said Brian McClain, Gerber Memorial’s director of clinical diagnostic services. “MedNow is a quick efficient resource for individuals and families to be seen and treated during the flu season. Gerber Memorial looks forward to helping as many people use MedNow so they can get relief without any delays.”
To make a MedNow appointment, call 844-322-7374, or go to myhealth.spectrumhealth.org.
As of Thursday, January 12, while no flu cases have been detected in Newaygo County, cases have been confirmed in several southern Michigan counties and the flu is expected to head northward toward West Michigan communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine that is being dispensed for the 2016-2017 season is a good match to combat the prevalent flu strain detected in recent weeks.
During the previous flu season, 2015-2016, the first case was positively identified at Gerber Memorial in early December 2015. That season saw more than 60 positive cases with 11 hospitalizations. The previous year, 2014-2015, saw nearly 100 positive cases at Gerber Memorial, with 30 hospitalizations. According to the most recent CDC data, more than 55,000 people die from the flu in the United States a year.
Newaygo County also has one primary care physician for 2,290 people—a shortage that is nearly double the ratio statewide, which is one primary care physician for 1,240 Michigan residents, according to the Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings.