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My experience using HealtheVisits

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It was 4:40 p.m. and all of a sudden I realized that, while I had put off going to my primary care provider, the symptoms I was experiencing were not going to go away. At this time of day, working across town from my provider, I clearly wasn’t going to be able to make it in for a same-day appointment.

Then I remembered the new HealtheVisits service that Affinity Health System offers. As a Lean Leader at Affinity, I wanted to observe and study it personally. I signed into the site and selected my symptoms. The system took me through a series of questions that I easily answered in four minutes (I was timing it).

What stood out the most in this process was that the program filtered out my allergy to one of the most popularly prescribed antibiotics for my particular symptom. Another benefit was that it offered a choice of how I would be contacted when my plan of care was completed—via text, email or phone. After selecting my preferences, I hit the submit button, paid the $35 out-of-pocket cost and six minutes later my plan of care was ready.

I received a text message with my diagnosis and link to my prescription, and found that I needed an antibiotic, which made me appreciate the allergy-filter that much more. The link I was provided allowed me to send my prescription to the pharmacy of my choice, showing me the locations in my zip code.

I packed up what I had been working on and headed for the pharmacy, I was thrilled that my prescription had been received quickly and my medication was ready right away. The HealtheVisits experience couldn’t have been better for me, and I would highly recommend the service. Thanks to everyone who put this together and the Affinity Medical Group providers who are managing the service, I was able to receive an accurate, convenient diagnosis, get treatment and go on with my day. It’s a great service!

To learn more about HealtheVisits, visit affinityhealth.org/healthevisits.

Author: Marie Larson – Lean Leader at Affinity Health System

HealtheVisits: An Inside Look

healthevisits My phone buzzes. I pick it up and see the message “There is one HealtheVisit in the queue.”

In this case, the visit is for June (name changed), a 45-year-old woman who has had burning with urination for about 24 hours. Before the message appeared on my phone, June had been to the HealtheVisits website and supplied a thorough description of her current illness as well as relevant medical history. Giving this information was easy thanks to the interview questions on the site that took her step-by-step through the process. June is otherwise healthy and has no symptoms requiring a face-to-face visit, so the answers to her questions are packaged and sent to me.

Upon seeing the notification of a waiting HealtheVisit, I log into the website and read through June’s information. Some of the more important bits are highlighted for me in red by the computer. It appears that June has had several urinary tract infections in the past and recognized the symptoms of this one as soon as they appeared. She has had no fever or back pain. She is allergic to amoxicillin. After careful review, I move on to the treatment options page. Here the website gives me several options all based on the best medical evidence. I choose uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) as the diagnosis and check the box to send a prescription for an appropriate antibiotic. Hitting the “send” button notifies June that her HealtheVisit has been completed.

Not all HealtheVisits, however, are quite this straight-forward. Many symptoms, while miserable, will not improve if treated with an antibiotic. When this happens, we do our best to suggest ways to relieve symptoms and provide education as to what warning signs indicate the need to be rechecked.

My phone buzzes again and I look at the message, “The HealtheVisit queue is empty.” This online diagnosis and treatment system has helped another patient, and will bring fast, accurate medical care to many more.

To learn more about HealtheVisits, visit affinityhealth.org/healthevisits.

5 integrative medicine recommendations for cancer patients

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Cancer affects the whole person: body, mind and spirit, not just the system it targets. Many find that cancer treatment best serves a patient when conventional treatments targeting the body are supported by integrative medicine approaches that help body, mind and spirit. Research-based, proven methods are used by integrative medicine providers to help decrease the side effects of the conventional treatment such as pain, anxiety, dry mouth and sleep disturbances. While supporting the patient’s overall recovery, these five recommendations can help a patient heal and improve peace of mind:

1.)   Acupuncture – Originating 3,000 years ago in China, acupuncture involves placing fine needles into specific points on the body to elicit a healing response. The stimulation of these needles corrects the flow of energy, or qi, along channels throughout the body, called meridians. Studies show acupuncture can help with nausea and dry mouth. The treatment can also be helpful for pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress.

2.)   Massage therapy – Another treatment that has been used for thousands of years, massage therapy is a way to heal the body, maintain wellness and to demonstrate compassionate support to others through touch. There are more than 250 variations of massage and bodywork techniques, each helping to induce relaxation, soothe muscles and promote healing. A Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center study showed a 50 percent reduction in the symptoms of fatigue, pain and anxiety in cancer patients when they received regular massage therapy treatments. Continue Reading »

Richmond Street Clinic: Ramp closure update

Construction will soon begin on the US 41/Highway 47 interchange in Appleton, also known as Richmond Street. Highway 47 will remain open with lane closures; however, the on/off ramps will be closed throughout the duration of the project. Construction is expected to last through the end of October 2014.

This may affect your commute to and from Richmond Street Clinic. We recommend patients begin using alternate routes. Suggested routes are as follows:

• When traveling north on US 41, exit right on HWY OO (Northland Ave.) and turn left on Richmond St.

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• When traveling south on US 41, exit Ballard Rd. to the left, turn right on E. Capitol Dr., cross Richmond St., and make an immediate left into the clinic parking lot.

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Despite construction taking place, Richmond Street Clinic will remain open and maintain regular business hours:

Family Medicine: Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Urgent Care: Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 7:30 a.m. to noon (closed Dec. 25).

If you have additional questions regarding how road construction will impact your commute to and from the clinic, please call 920-380-2715. We urge you all to travel safe and allow for extra travel time during this period.

Help your child get geared up for bike season

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 3.10.48 PMNow that warmer weather has arrived, bike season is in full swing. Are your kids prepared for a safe bike season? To help, Affinity Medical Group – Deerwood Clinic is holding a Helmet Challenge on Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. – noon at the clinic.

Custom-fit helmets in the freshest colors and styles will be available for children ages two years and up for only $10. Affinity Medical Group team members will provide custom fitting, and Fang, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers mascot will help out with helmet checks. If the weather is nice, there will be bike safety checks and a Bike Rodeo with Diablo Cycling. There will also be a station set up for car seat education.

Deerwood Clinic is located at 740 Deerwood Ave., in Neenah. We hope you can join in on the fun, all while promoting bike safety! To view the event poster, click here.

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.