MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipnosis is getting the word out about an incredibly effective means of avoiding the spread of germs this cold and flu season: Use virtual care.
"One of the best ways to be a good healthcare citizen and avoid spreading germs to others in overcrowded waiting rooms at clinics, urgent care centers and emergency rooms is to take advantage of online virtual visits," said Kevin Smith, DNP, FNP, FAANP, Chief Clinical Officer at Zipnosis, the first virtual care company enabling leading health systems to launch virtual care service lines staffed by their own clinicians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concurs, noting that the flu (influenza) is a serious condition that can require hospitalization and can even lead to death. On a web page focused on advice to stop the spread of germs, the CDC advises: "If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others." Evidence-based clinical research supports this strategy. For example, a widely cited study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found strong evidence that well-child visits subsequently resulted in a 3.17% increase in influenza-like illnesses among children and their family members within two weeks of the visit. This germ swap results in more than 766,000 additional office visits for flu-like symptoms each year and nearly $492 million in annual costs. Virtual care to the rescue The convenience of virtual healthcare is magnified during the busy cold and flu season when wait time at the clinic or urgent care center are sure to be longer than usual.