No need to roll out of bed and drive to the clinic because the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group is now offering flu E-Visits.
Through this online service, people can receive a diagnosis, treatment plan and prescription for the flu without leaving the comfort of their home.
The Northeast Georgia Physicians Group is affiliated with the Northeast Georgia Health System, which serves people in more than 18 counties across the region.
“You get to stay home in your PJs and not have to come into the office feeling horrible,” Dr. Renee Kimball, a physician with Northeast Georgia Health System said. “An advantage is that we’re not spreading flu to other people in the office.”
Through the use of the E-Visits Kimball said people can also avoid using urgent care or an emergency room, which tend to become expensive. An E-Visit costs $40.
Kimball said the E-Visits provide secure messaging and questionnaires through an online portal called MyChart.
People who already have a MyChart account can log in to the website or mobile app, then click the E-Visit icon. Those without a MyChart account can go to ngpg.org/evisit to begin their flu E-Visit.
Kimball said people start the E-Visit by answering several simple questions. Once the answers are submitted a provider will review the person’s health history and current symptoms, then respond with a treatment plan in less than 24 hours.
The service is available seven days a week to those 18 and older. Kimball said the age restriction was put in place because children are at an increased risk of complications.
For people who are skeptical about receiving a diagnosis online as opposed to an in-person flu test, Kimball said in many cases doctors will stray away from conducting the usual swab test.
“The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends against flu testing once it’s circulating in the community,” she said. “That’s because the flu tests have a high false negative rate when the incident of the flu in the community is high.”
Kimball said the influenza virus has been widespread in Georgia since November 2018, so most of the flu diagnoses are based off of signs and symptoms of the virus.
“We’re pretty early into the flu season,” she said. “The best way to protect yourself is still to get the flu shot.”
For more information about Northeast Georgia Physicians Group’s flu E-Visits go to ngpg.org.