Virtual health care now available through Winona Health's SmartExam

Virtual health care now available through Winona Health's SmartExam

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Winona Health now offers an online service that allows people to receive health care services remotely and immediately. With SmartExam, patients with colds, flu, allergies, rashes, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, pink eye, sore throat, ear aches and many other common medical conditions can receive a diagnosis, treatment plan, and prescription, if necessary, without an appointment or an in-person visit.

Winona Health SmartExam is launching in Minnesota on Feb. 20, with service for Wisconsin available soon.

Using their smartphone, tablet or computer, patients can receive care from anywhere in Minnesota — whether they are at their desk, at a soccer match or at home under a blanket on their couch. Access to this convenient care means people can feel better faster — whether it requires a prescription or sound medical advice to speed recovery and provide peace of mind.

Winona Health SmartExam virtual visits are $39. However, through February 2019, users can pay just $20. If no diagnosis is made, there is no charge for the visit. Details about registering as a SmartExam user are available at winonahealth.org/smartexam.

Patients can also get prescriptions for birth control and support for behavioral health issues with SmartExam. Offering this level of care online allows Winona Health to overcome obstacles some patients face when deciding to get healthcare — taking time off work, childcare needs, transportation to a clinic, or even anxiety about in-person appointments.

“Members of our medical staff researched this tool and found it to be an effective way to provide the care patients need for several types of appointments at their convenience and at a low cost,” said Chris Watras, DO, chief of Emergency and Urgent Care Services at Winona Health. “This is an example of how Winona Health stays ahead of the curve in furthering our mission to serve our community.”

To get care through SmartExam, patients answer questions through a dynamic online interview about their current symptoms, medications, and health history. Information is reviewed by a health care provider at Winona Health and they provide a diagnosis and treatment plan. If the patient’s condition is more serious and requires an in-person visit, they are referred for an appointment and not charged for the SmartExam visit.

Patients typically take 15 to 20 minutes to complete the medical interview. Providers usually respond within an hour. SmartExam saves patients the time, expense and disruption to their day of going to the doctor’s office. And because SmartExam saves providers time as well, those lower costs are passed on to patients.

“We are committed to improving access to high-quality care that is also convenient and affordable,” said Winona Health President and CEO Rachelle H. Schulz, Ed.D. “We understand that between busy schedules and high-deductible insurance, convenience and affordability are increasingly important to people.”

For more information about Winona Health’s SmartExam, patients can go to winonahealth.org/smartexam.

Winona Health SmartExam virtual visits are $39. However, through February 2019, users can pay just $20. If no diagnosis is made, there is no charge for the visit.
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