E-Visits Help Busy Patients Focus on Families

May 23, 2014

Mom Krista Hayes at her daughter's track practice

Every day is a relay for Krista Hayes. Between her daughter’s swim practices and her working husband’s full-time student status, there’s very little wiggle room in the stay-at-home mom’s routine.

“Going to the doctor’s office isn’t something we have time for,” said Hayes. “I have two busy kids who are striving for perfect attendance, and a puppy that demands attention.” That’s not to say the Hayes family hasn’t had plenty of reasons to reach out to their doctor. “We don’t get sick very often, but when we do it’s always on a Friday or a Monday, the two busiest days of the week. I don’t want to be waiting in an office, especially around other sick people.”

Hayes, like thousands of others, signed up for a MyMercy account, an online service that gives Mercy patients in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma the ability to track health history, schedule appointments, contact a doctor and renew prescriptions. “I got an email that suggested I try out e-visits, and I’ve never looked back.”

Every primary care physician at Mercy now offers e-visits. For the price of a typical co-pay, patients can get secure care and the coordination of the Mercy care team for non-urgent medical conditions like coughing, heartburn, red eye, back pain, sinus problems and diarrhea.

“For us, it’s usually swimmer’s ear,” said Hayes. “My daughter is also sensitive to chlorine. Last summer, we were at a swim camp and instead of going to the emergency room in another state, I did an e-visit with Dr. Campbell back in Oklahoma. It’s as simple as that.”

“I do several e-visits a week and the patients all love it,” said Dr. Jesse Campbell at Mercy Clinic Primary Care — Edmond Santa Fe. “This whole process allows us to fit an appointment into their schedules, at their convenience.” Patients must first have a Mercy primary care physician and a MyMercy account to set up an e-visit using a computer, tablet or mobile device.

“I’ll check my email and get a notice that he's seen it, responded and ordered the prescription at my pharmacy," said Hayes. "At that point I just have to pick it up and then swing by my daughter’s school and we’re good to go.”

Nearly 600,000 people have signed up for MyMercy and the number of e-visits has quadrupled since last fall. E-visits are intended to be treatment, not advice or information. Patients can expect a same-day response from their doctor, as long as it’s submitted before 4 p.m. on a regular business day.

“It’s a money-saver and a huge convenience for us — more so than just for ear infections,” added Hayes. “My husband even signed up, because getting sick and taking off work isn’t an option.”

If you have a Mercy doctor and would like to sign up for a MyMercy account, visit http://www.mymercy.net.