Using technology to connect college students with local health care | Preferred Business Program

This fall, thousands of young adults moved house for the first time. Students starting college can be both excited and a little nervous. College brings new friends, experiences, pressures, and opportunities to be independent.

However, the excitement may wear off a bit when students first feel sick or need follow-up for a medical condition.

It can feel overwhelming if you haven’t navigated healthcare on your own before. Students may have relied on parents to schedule all appointments or pick up prescriptions. They may be confused about how to apply for these services or even where to go.

The good news is that most students are well versed in virtual technology. And their experiences make connecting virtually with your hometown healthcare team an easy task.

Local health care teams, including primary care professionals, have known students for years and have a deep understanding of their medical history.

This familiarity helps maintain a relationship of trust and personalized attention. A strong, trusting relationship does more than just feel good. Patients who trust their health care team report healthier behaviors, fewer symptoms, higher quality of life, and greater satisfaction with their treatment.

In Mayo Clinic Health System, there are many virtual options to connect local health care teams with students living away from home. Remind your student of these options if they need attention and are navigating the “real world” for the first time:

  • The Check Symptoms tool is a no-cost option available in Patient Online Services on the web or through the Mayo Clinic app. The student receives recommendations for care based on selected symptoms experienced.

  • Express Care Virtual Visits are a low-cost option with a health professional for common health problems. Students can schedule Express Care appointments online through Patient Online Services or by calling the local appointment phone number. Most Express Care appointments are offered at a flat rate of $69.

  • Express Care Online is a web-based virtual care option for common health problems. This could include acne, cold sores, cold symptoms, COVID-19 symptoms, diarrhea, nausea, conjunctivitis, skin rashes, yeast infection, and many others. After the student completes an online assessment, a health professional reviews symptoms and recommends a treatment plan within an hour.

  • Nurse Triage is a convenient way to access 24/7 advice from a team of knowledgeable and caring registered nurses. They use medical information backed by Mayo Clinic expertise to help answer students’ questions.

  • The prescription mail service can send a student’s medications directly to university housing. Students can order prescription refills online and track mail service shipments.

  • Video appointments take place virtually using an online patient portal called Patient Online Services and a student’s tablet or mobile device. Video appointments can be used for routine medical appointments or to discuss new symptoms or concerns with your care team. In many cases, these appointments can be scheduled with the student’s primary care professional.

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Knowing that a reliable health care team is available, even when miles apart, can make the transition to adulthood less intimidating or overwhelming.

As a reminder, these virtual options are not limited to students. Any Mayo Clinic Health System patient, 18 months or older, can take advantage of these services. The options can be especially appealing to people who travel frequently, have mobility issues, or have busy schedules.

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