UAB Medicine Launches State’s First Online Service to Treat Common Medical Conditions

Released: 22-Aug-2014 4:25 PM EDT
Embargo expired: 25-Aug-2014 8:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Alabama at Birmingham
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Newswise — BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB Medicine is the state’s first medical provider to offer online diagnosis and treatment of common conditions, such as colds, allergies, bladder infections and pink eye.

The service, known as UAB eMedicine and available at uabemedicine.com, is for adults 18 and older in Birmingham and the surrounding area. Patients are charged a $25 fee only if the clinician can diagnose their condition through the service; if symptoms are too complex or advanced, patients will be be referred for additional care.

“eMedicine is an urgent care service that enables patients to use their desktop or mobile devices to interact with our providers,” said Stuart Cohen, M.D., medical director of primary care in UAB’s School of Medicine. “This will add to patient convenience for those who are suffering from upper respiratory infections, flu, allergies and other things very common in an urgent-care setting. It’s really a novel way to extend the physician-patient relationship.”

The online visit takes approximately five minutes to complete, although the total number of questions depends on the patient and the condition. eMedicine uses a powerful diagnosis and treatment software system, Zipnosis, to collect a patient’s symptoms in minutes by asking the same questions a clinician would in face-to-face meeting. The patient’s responses are reviewed by a UAB clinician who provides a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

Patients can complete their visit 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a diagnosis will be provided within an hour if the case is submitted during normal eMedicine hours of operation: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

“The patient can go online at 2 a.m. if they aren’t feeling well and complete the questionnaire, and when they wake up in the morning, everything will be rendered and taken care of,” Cohen says.

After the visit is completed, patients are notified their diagnosis is ready by text message or email. Once they review their treatment plan, a prescription — if needed — will be electronically sent to the pharmacy of their choice.

“UAB Medicine has always been a leader and an innovator in health care,” said UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany, Ph.D. “eMedicine will provide our patients with convenient access to care that has never before been available in Alabama.”

Learn more about UAB eMedicine or get your symptoms diagnosed today at uabemedicine.com.

About UAB Medicine
UAB Medicine includes all of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s patient-care activities, including UAB Hospital, the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital and The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital and several affiliated community hospitals. UAB is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic health center; its professional schools and specialty patient-care programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50. UAB is the largest academic medical center in Alabama and one of the top four largest academic medical centers in the United States.

About UAB
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, UAB is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center and the state of Alabama’s largest employer, with some 23,000 employees and an economic impact exceeding $5 billion annually on the state. The five pillars of UAB’s mission deliver knowledge that will change your world: the education of students, who are exposed to multidisciplinary learning and a new world of diversity; research, the creation of new knowledge; patient care, the outcome of ‘bench-to-bedside’ translational knowledge; service to the community at home and around the globe, from free clinics in local neighborhoods to the transformational experience of the arts; and the economic development of Birmingham and Alabama. Learn more at www.uab.edu.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a separate, independent institution from the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa. Please use University of Alabama at Birmingham on first reference and UAB on all subsequent references.

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