Frequently Asked Questions

Self Care Decisions / Frequently Asked Questions

What is the symptom checker?

The symptom checker is a self-assessment tool which directs consumers and patients to the right care at the right time, based upon their symptoms. It helps them determine how sick they are and what is the most appropriate action to take. The content set contains 280+ symptom care guides (133 adult; 153 pediatric).

 

Can I make any customizations?

There are several components of the symptom checker that can be customized.
• Visually, we customize the look and feel to match elements of your brand such as logo, color palette, font and button style.
• We will also assist you in customizing the fulfillment options which are presented to the user, based upon the acuity/severity of their symptoms. This aligns the ‘recommended action’ with your processes and assets: Call Your Doctor, Schedule an Appointment (online or phone), Begin a Telemedicine Visit (if offered), Find a Dentist.

 

Is the content reliable? Trustworthy?

The content is written by Dr. Barton Schmitt and Dr. David Thompson. The care guides are derived from the clinical protocols use by physicians and nurses in more than 10,000 practices and 400 nurse advice lines in the US and Canada. These protocols have been tested for 25 years on more than 200 million symptom calls. For more information, see The Evidence behind the Symptom Checker.

The Symptom Checker care guides are currently being used by hundreds of healthcare organizations, 250+ office websites and within more than 50 mobile phone apps.

 

How often is the content updated?

The content is updated annually by the physician authors. If medical information changes during the course of a year (outbreaks, pandemics, new dosages), we quickly update and distribute those changes. All content is hosted on our web servers, therefore, there is no manual maintenance required by the client.

 

How will patients access the information?

Users will navigate to the symptom checker on your website. They will enter their age and gender to filter their experience. They can search for their symptom(s) via body area, alphabetical index or keyword search. Based upon the user’s selections, the recommended action (appropriate level of care) will be presented and then the user selects a fulfillment option (connects to your practice) with a single click or tap.

 

How does the symptom checker benefit my practice?

 

  • Off loads calls from your staff (nurses and receptionists)
  • Reduces after-hours calls
  • Supports your desired appointment process – call for an appointment or schedule online
  • Creates loyalty! Patients and parents value this tool you are providing
  • Establishes Your Practice as the trusted source for healthcare advice
  • Quick and Easy! The website iFrame takes only 30 minutes to customize and install.
  • The tool supplies evidence-based (trusted) decision support vs. simply ‘Googling’ symptoms
  • Drives more value from your website investment

 

How does the symptom checker benefit my patients?

 

  • Provides decision support, especially after hours and on weekends
  • Offers a self-service option for the-savvy patients and parents
  • Directs appropriate actions: if, and when, they need to contact their doctor, schedule an appointment or go to the ER
  • The care advice builds self-care skills and offers symptom relief for minor injuries and illnesses

 

What else is included with my license?

Along with the symptom checker content, your license will also include use of the Parent Advice Messages (eating, behavior and wellness topics for children), First Aid topics and over-the-counter dosage table information. Spanish content is available for an additional fee.