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Side effect of pandemic: more people taking charge of their health

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 4:52 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Local health care providers are noticing a positive side effect to the pandemic.

People are not only taking their health care more seriously, but many are finding new ways to communicate with their doctors thanks to our smartphones opening a new gateway to doctors.

“Just making it easy. You can connect anytime, 24/7. You can look at all of your information. You can send that message whenever is convenient for you,” says Amber Allen, executive director of primary care, quality and innovation at Prevea Health.

At some time or another, you’ve probably played phone tag with someone.

When it’s your doctor’s office, and you missed that call with lab results or answers to a question, it’s frustrating.

That is one big reason Prevea Health thinks it’s seeing a surge in people using its patient portals, websites with all your medical info at your fingertips.

Between March and July this year, Prevea says it saw a 20 percent increase over last year in people using its MyPrevea portal.

Part of that was people checking COVID symptoms and scheduling a test, but then patients kept using it for other care.

Prevea says it’s helping people take charge of their health in a new way.

“When you have that accessibility at your fingertips, I think you tend to be a little more engaged with that care, and by that, I mean just looking at your results, looking at what does this mean, understanding it and taking it to the next level in terms of connecting with your provider,” says Allen.

For people with complex conditions, like diabetes, that might help keep them out of the hospital or ER.

As COVID has steered many of us toward technology, Prevea says this lets patients message their doctors, refill prescriptions and stay up to date on vaccines, whenever and wherever is convenient.

“This allows you to just log in and do it when you are free, and you’ll get the response back and forth,” says Allen.

Prevea says a lot of adult children are now finding this helpful to keep track of their parents medical records and appointments.

You can find more information or create an account on demand at myprevea.com.

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