Web tool helps patients determine severity of flu symptoms

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State public health officials are encouraging people who are sick to visit AMAfluhelp.org, a flu health assessment Web site that is intended to help alleviate the heavy wait times in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.

The Web tool – accessible through www.colorado.gov/nofluforyou - will help patients determine the severity of their flu symptoms and allow them to share that information with their doctors. The programs give patients the ability to talk with their doctors via the Web and receive advice about when to return to work or school – without visiting their doctors’ office.

Colorado doctors’ offices, clinics and emergency rooms – like those nationwide – are busier than ever this year dealing with seasonal flu and H1N1. About 580 H1N1 cases have been confirmed in Colorado.

The site is designed to help patients and physicians better communicate and improve care coordination. The program walks patients through a series of questions to determine the severity of their flu symptoms based upon the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Patients can choose to share their information and assessment with their physicians, as well as family members and loved ones.