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Telehealth options are abundant at NUMC

Telehealth and virtual options are abundant at New Ulm Medical Center

It is probably safe to say that, within the last year, more people have had experiences communicating over video, whether on a cell phone or computer, than ever before. It is convenient, especially during a cold Minnesota winter, and it is safer than meeting in person, since COVID-19 began.

Thankfully, the same technology that makes it easy to have a virtual dinner with friends and family also makes it easy and safe for patients to meet with their provider without having to go to the clinic in person, avoiding the risk of exposure to COVID-19 or dealing with bad weather. Virtual visits are 100 percent secure and private.

Telehealth visits were already well on the way to a common offering at New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC), part of Allina Health, when the pandemic began in March 2020 and, since then, have become the new normal. Virtual visits can be set up by any provider in the clinic if they feel it is appropriate for the type of visit needed. Registration staff and nurses are able to determine if an appointment can be virtual or not.

Besides virtual visits with any of our local providers, Allina Health also offers Everyday Online through the Allina Health account, which can be created at account.allinahealth.org. Allina Health Everyday Online is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The patient completes a series of questions about their symptoms and may be asked to submit photos of the area of concern – such as a wound or rash. The patient’s answers are sent to a provider for review and they then create a treatment plan, including a prescription, if necessary. A response is usually sent back to the patient within one hour. If a patient is not able to be treated online, they are not charged.

To see a full list of conditions treated via Allina Health Everyday Online, go to: onlinevisit.allinahealth.org/ conditions.

Other telehealth offerings include crucial cardio- vascular consultations with providers from Minneapolis Heart Institute (MHI). See the accompanying MHI article on page 5H in today’s Health Edition for more information.

For tips on how to get ready for a computer or phone visit, see the accompanying “How to Prepare for Your First Virtual Appointment” article on page 4H in today’s Health Edition.

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