Renown Health just announced a new, digital tool designed to keep our community safe and healthy. Symptom Checker, which launched today, is a user-friendly, web-based platform that assesses patients’ symptoms and seamlessly directs them to the appropriate level of care within the Renown network. Symptom Checker can be accessed 24/7 by visiting Renown Symptom Checker. From there, a patient can identify the area of the body responsible for their discomfort, and specify their symptoms. Upon entering their symptoms, patients receive a detailed health summary and care guide, which helps them determine the most appropriate action to take. Patients are able to schedule a visit at a Renown location directly through the Symptom Checker portal. Patients experiencing a medical emergency should not use Symptom Checker and instead call 911. “Thanks to Symptom Checker, our patients will have around-the-clock support at their fingertips to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare needs,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “We understand that determining the right level of care for you or your loved ones may bring about some uncertainty, which is why we are proud to continuously offer new and innovative technologies that make it easier for our community members to live healthier lives.” “As we continue experiencing cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County, many individuals with COVID are unsure when they should seek medical care, as well as the appropriate location to receive care,” said Melodie Osborn, RN, Chief Quality and Nursing Officer, Health Services. “With Symptom Checker, people can easily input their symptoms, and include the symptom severity, to be directed to the best level of care for their individual health needs—making it an extremely valuable tool as we fight to keep our community safe and healthy amidst this pandemic.” Symptom Checker is free to use and does not require users to be Renown patients. In addition to nearly 200 children and adult symptom care guides, the platform also features 55 first-aid topics, 147 parenting advice topics, and 25 over-the-counter drug dosage tables for children and adults. The Symptom Checker content is written by medical doctors, Barton Schmitt and David Thompson, who are nursing triage experts; and symptom care guides stem from clinical protocols used by doctors and nurses worldwide. Evidence behind the Symptom Checker can be accessed here. For more information, or to use Symptom Checker, please visit Renown Symptom Checker. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Renown providers remain committed to safely caring for community members, both in person and virtually. Renown Health is proud to offer same-day virtual visits to help community members maintain their health and address medical concerns amid the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Virtual Visits are easily-accessible video conferencing visits with a health provider. They are used for primary care, specialty care and urgent care to enable patients to consult a care provider from the ease and comfort of their homes. “If there’s a bright spot in the midst of this pandemic, it’s that COVID-19 is pushing us to rapidly adopt new ways of thinking about and delivering healthcare–through new technologies,” said Dr. Tony Slonim, president and CEO of Renown. “Our team has worked diligently to make virtual visits available to our community as an added convenience for those who would prefer to stay in their homes. As we work to keep all of our patients safe and healthy, we want our community to know we’re here to serve any ongoing healthcare needs they have by expanding our care options.” Virtual Visits for Urgent Care For urgent care needs, individuals can log in to MyChart and request to “Talk to a Doctor” to receive care from a Renown provider. After filling in some information and confirming their healthcare concerns, Renown’s healthcare team will notify them by text or email when a provider is ready to talk to them virtually. Providers will help patients determine whether their health needs can be met from their home or if they need to seek in-person care. Virtual urgent care visits can address the following symptoms: Common cold and cough symptoms Muscular, tendon or joint pains not caused by injury Allergy or sinus symptoms Pink eye Urinary discomfort Diarrhea without vomiting Rashes or skin sores Backache Nail problems Screening examination for sexually transmitted illness (without symptoms) Medication refills (not controlled substances) Renown’s urgent care virtual visits are available 8:30 a.m. through 10:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Virtual Visits for Primary Care and Specialty Care Many primary and specialty care appointments for adults and children are now available virtually through Renown Medical Group. Individuals with an existing Renown Medical Group provider are encouraged to call 775-982-5000 if they would prefer to see a provider from home. Home Medical Visits Last week, Renown announced its partnership with DispatchHealth, which is now making house calls to individuals who prefer to be seen from their home by a licensed medical professional. This high-quality medical care option is available to all Reno/Sparks residents, both insured and uninsured. If a patient is uninsured, there is a flat fee of $275, which includes all medications administered and lab tests on site. “Whether a patient prefers to be treated at home or in one of our traditional office settings, we are prepared to provide the right level of care, at the right place, at the right time,” said Dr. Slonim. “From routine exams and checkups to illnesses and other conditions that may arise, it’s critical to continue seeing to your unique healthcare needs.” All virtual visits require a free MyChart account. Those who do not have a MyChart account can sign up online. Most insurance companies apply the same co-pay fees as charged for in- person visits. For more information on virtual visits, please visit https://www.renown.org/explore/virtual-visits/. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
Seeking Individuals Who Have Recovered From COVID-19 To Donate Plasma To Help Patients Fighting The Infection
New study, led by physician researchers from Renown Health and University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine seeks to understand how the immune system responds to COVID-19 with goal of developing a new treatment. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may now be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating their plasma. Those who have recovered from the infection may have COVID-19 antibodies in their blood. These antibodies provided one way for their immune systems to fight the virus when they were sick, so their blood may be used to help others fight off the disease through convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma is a component of blood from recovered patients that may contain precious COVID-19 antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that might help fight the infection. In this study, we will be collecting plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and investigating its efficacy in helping treat other patients with COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is being investigated for treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for the disease and there is information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19. Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) are leading a study locally to better understand how the body’s immune system responds to the virus, how it presents in northern Nevada and ultimately, aid in developing a new treatment for COVID-19. “Renown and UNR Med are at the forefront of conducting essential research to increase the health and safety of our community,” said Sara Healy, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and a pediatric infectious disease physician at Renown Children’s Hospital and UNR Med. “So little is known about effectively treating COVID-19 and we are venturing into new territory. This important study is instrumental in helping us understand the immune systems of people who were affected by COVID-19, and with their help, getting us one step closer to finding a treatment for the disease that has significantly impacted our nation and our community.” “COVID-19 survivors are in a unique and exciting position to be a part of something much bigger than the virus,” said Mark Riddle, MD, DrPH, FISTM, associate investigator of the study and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at UNR Med. “As a participant of this study, not only are you helping us to better understand the disease and the chronic health affects it has long term, but it’s a way to help those suffering from the disease to fight it and hopefully recover. We encourage participation in this important study and invaluable contributions to advancing medicine and our knowledge of COVID-19.” This community-wide study led by physician researchers from Renown Health and UNR Med is a collaborative effort with Vitalant, county and state health districts, Saint Mary’s Medical Center, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Carson Tahoe Health and the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, along with the many care providers in our area. People aged 18-60 in general good health who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to consider donating convalescent plasma as part of this study. There are 332 people, just in Washoe County (as of 5/1/20) who have recovered from COVID-19 and have immune systems that may now be producing antibodies to protect them from becoming infected again with coronavirus. Donated plasma is needed right now, for this clinical trial to determine definitively if this treatment works. Participating in this research study will also make it easier to donate plasma to the Mayo Clinic convalescent plasma program that Renown is a part of in hopes to find a treatment for COVID-19. There is no cost to participate in this study and participation is voluntary. An individual’s decision to participate will not affect their current or future relations with their health care provider(s), health district, or the community. Those who decide to participate are free to withdraw at any time. Confirmed COVID-19 patients who have recovered from the virus and are interested in participating in the study are invited to contact the project coordinators at the Renown Research Office at (775) 982-3646, or via e-mail at email@example.com, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org. About the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), Nevada’s first medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit med.unr.edu.