Mayo: It’s taking action

FAIRMONT — Flu season is upon us in Minnesota.

Influenza, or the respiratory flu, typically peaks this time of year and is associated with illness ranging from the mild to the severe.

Usually, resting and remaining hydrated while at home are the best two treatments for most cases of the flu. However, some people need to be hospitalized for more severe cases. Nearly 2,000 Minnesotans have been hospitalized this year with influenza symptoms.

An increase in influenza cases in our community leads to an increase in patient visits at our clinic and Urgent Care. The result is longer wait times for you and your family. At Mayo Clinic Health System, we recognize that it is not ideal and understand that such delays can be frustrating. That is why we have taken steps to reduce wait times and improve access to care during this busy influenza season.

In Urgent Care, we have expanded weekday hours and added a full-time nurse practitioner to meet the increased demand. This means better and quicker access to same-day treatment, if needed. In addition, we are piloting a new assessment process so each patient is evaluated soon after check-in so necessary tests can be ordered right away.

In the clinic, all our primary care providers have added same-day appointments so they can care for patients with influenza and other acute illnesses right away. These improvements will reduce the strain on Urgent Care access and get patients an appointment, as well as any necessary treatment, more quickly.

Another option for quick, convenient care and treatment is our Mayo Clinic Express Care Online. This service is available 24/7 and is accessible from the comfort of your own home at mayoclinichealthsystem.org. A Patient Online Services account is needed for this service. You can drop by in the clinic during regular business hours and our team will help you set up your account.

The team in Fairmont is dedicated to providing you and your family with timely access to care with the quality and service you expect from Mayo Clinic. This is a busy time of year, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we implement these changes to meet the increased need for same-day appointments to care for you and your family.

Dr. Jeffrey Green is a family medicine physician while April Poolman is a family medicine nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont.