KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

New Online Diagnosis Tool Offers Prescriptions In A Hurry

News outlets report on the expanding online relationship between doctors and patients.

A new venture called Zipnosis allows patients to receive diagnoses and prescriptions online for $25, The Star Tribune reports. "Minneapolis-based Zipnosis thinks it is onto the latest innovation in convenient health care for minor ailments like common colds, allergies or bladder infections. Led by Rick Krieger, who co-founded a company that became MinuteClinic, Zipnosis started a one-year pilot this month with local provider Park Nicollet Health Services. Already, more than 300 people statewide have used the service. Consumers fill out Zipnosis' survey online, and two nurse practitioners on duty at Park Nicollet's Quick Check center review the answers and send back a diagnosis. But there are skeptics. Some local doctors say they wouldn't recommend Zipnosis to their patients for fear of misdiagnosis." The company's "goal is to be in 15 states by fall 2011" (Lee, 5/19). 

The Columbus Dispatch: A new study by the Center For Studying Health System Change and the Commonwealth Fund finds that "electronic medical records can both help and hinder doctor-patient relationships." They "assist in real-time communication with patients during office visits by giving doctors quick access to patient information rather than searching through paper records. But these also can pose a distraction during visits" (Hoholik, 5/18).

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