With cold and flu season in full swing, many may be experiencing classic symptoms such as a cough, runny nose or fever. Prisma Health-Midlands offers a fast, more convenient way to get treatment for non-emergency needs when your doctor is not readily available. Patients can use their smartphone, tablet or computer to complete an online interview about their symptoms, which are reviewed by a licensed provider.

The online service, SmartExam, is for minor medical conditions, including colds, flu, sinus pain, urinary tract infections, allergies and skin rashes. SmartExam is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year including holidays. No appointment is needed. The provider will review your symptoms and respond within one hour between 8 am and 8 pm. The cost for a diagnosis and treatment plan is only $20.

“SmartExam is one of several ways we are trying to make health care easier and more convenient for our patients and the community, while still providing high-quality care,” said Bill Gerard, M.D., emergency medicine physician and CEO of the Prisma Health Midlands Network. “It offers a secure means of reaching a provider anytime, anywhere, especially when patients can find it difficult to leave work to go to a doctor’s office.”

Here’s how SmartExam works:

Patients visit PalmettoHealth.org/SmartExam, or call 803-434-EXAM (3926) to create a SmartExam account.

After receiving confirmation that a SmartExam account has been created, patients can log in and complete a SmartExam, which takes about 10 minutes.

Completed exams are thoroughly reviewed by Prisma Health-Midlands providers and a customized treatment plan is sent directly to the patient. Any needed prescriptions are sent electronically to the patient’s pharmacy of choice.

If the provider believes a patient needs to be seen in-person, Prisma Health-Midlands’ scheduling team will help locate a provider for you.

Patients pay by credit card or debit card and are only charged if they receive a diagnosis and treatment plan. Patients also may use their Health Savings Account card to pay for a SmartExam.

If patients need an in-person visit, they are not charged for their SmartExam.

“We want to ensure that our patients get the best possible health care in the setting that is most appropriate for them,” said Gerard. “We want to meet our patients’ needs in a manner that is both efficient and cost effective, and we’ve found that our patients who are using SmartExam appreciate that.”

Other ways to receive same-day care for minor conditions

Prisma Health also offers several options to provide patients with more affordable and convenient care. These locations are staffed with physicians, physician assistants and advanced care providers. These programs have more flexible hours including evenings and weekends, cost about the same as a regular office visit, and no appointment is needed. Options available include:

• Mobile Clinic: This walk-in clinic provides treatment for minor illnesses and injuries such as: allergy symptoms, colds, flu, fever, sore throats, rashes, ear pain, simple infections, minor burns, minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, bug bites/stings, and minor sprains and strains. Preventive services such as screenings and vaccinations also are offered. Patients age two and older are welcome.

• First Care: This walk-in care practice is a good choice when your problems need immediate attention but aren’t life-threatening or emergencies like colds, flu, sore throats, allergies, minor cuts, scrapes, bruises and wellness needs such as sports physicals. Patients age two and older are welcome.

• Urgent Care: Prisma Health and Doctors Care have collaborated to provide better access to care for problems like sprains, allergies, fevers and upper respiratory infections that need immediate attention but aren’t life-threatening or emergencies. All ages are welcome.

• Convenient Care: Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center Convenient Care specializes in orthopedic urgent care for patients of all ages. Conditions treated include sprains, strains, fractures, lacerations and sports medicine injuries, as well as chronic conditions relating to the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, spine and more. All ages are welcome.

For more information about same-day care options, visit PalmettoHealth.org/SameDayCare.

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