If you’re looking for an easier way to see a doctor this flu season, Beaufort Memorial Hospital launched a new service that provides patients with a way to seek help without going in for an office visit.
Patients can access online video visits using the BMH Care Anywhere app on their smartphone or tablet or on a computer equipped with a camera.
The BMH Care Anywhere service was scheduled to launch later this spring, but due to an increase in flu and respiratory illnesses administrators and physicians decided to launch the program early, according to a news release.
“We are excited to be able to offer this service to our community, particularly during such a critical cold and flu season,” Russell Baxley, Beaufort Memorial Hospital President and CEO, said in the news release. “The ability to initiate a virtual visit from home or work on your own schedule, based on your needs, means faster care and more convenience.”
The announcement came less than a week after the hospital implemented visitor restrictions due to the widespread flu activity across Beaufort County.
At least 15 people in South Carolina have died from the flu so far this season, including one person in the Lowcountry, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. At this time last year, seven deaths related to the flu had been reported statewide.
High flu activity across the state has led to an 87% increase in hospitalizations in recent weeks, according to DHEC.
The BMH Care Anywhere service is expected to allow physicians to serve more patients without packing the emergency room.
Enrollment in BMH Care Anywhere is free and the cost per visit is $59.
According to the hospital’s news release, virtual visits are ideal for non-emergencies and minor illnesses like colds and flu, sore throat, allergies, rashes, pink eye and other infections. Services are provided by board-certified doctors, physician assistants and an online care group of providers.
To learn more about the service or to enroll visit www.bmhcareanywhere.org or download the BMH Care Anywhere app in the App Store or Google Play.