Jennifer McClendon, a physician assistant with MeMD, was recently interviewed about using telemedicine to treat patients for this year's flu bug.
By Hailey Holloway
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now saying the flu has hit epidemic levels, a lot of people are making appointments to see a doctor or heading to walk-in clinics. However, you may get an unexpected response from your doctor if you try to make an appointment.
Some East Tennessee doctors’ offices are now consulting patients over the phone and actually asking them not to come into the office in person because the flu is so contagious and is spreading so quickly.
WATE 6 On Your Side checked out another way you can get the health care you need without even having to leave your house.
It’s called “telemedicine.” You can get on your computer or tablet, log in to a virtual waiting room, and in a few minutes you’re face to face with a medical care provider from the comfort of your own home.
Jennifer McClendon is a physician’s assistant who works in urgent care and has been working for MeMD.me for a couple of years. She said she treats 10 to 15 patients a day in their home, from her home.
“We treat based on the symptoms. You know, most people can take their temperature at home. We can see that they’re breathing okay, that they’re not in any acute distress and then we can treat them the same way that I would treat them if they came to see me in person,” said McClendon.
She added that if you don’t have time to go to the doctor, you can’t get an appointment, or you just don’t want to wait in a walk in clinic, you can log in to MeMD and see a health care provider in 10 minutes.
McClendon says you can use MeMD to get treated for things like the flu, allergies, and skin and respiratory infections. But she says they can’t diagnose everything through video chat.
“We’re not here to replace primary care physicians or urgent care because there’s definitely the time that you need to be seen. You may need stitches or need an X-ray or treatments or things like that, but we’re a great start to initiate treatment for something that is simple,” said McClendon.
She said whomever you chat with will be a medical provider who is licensed in your state, and it costs just under $50.
East Tennessee flu patients can get diagnosed from home with ‘telemedicine’