Frequently Asked Questions
What are the ECH hours?Employee and Community Health (ECH) has many locations and ways to access care. Your provider and care team may be at a particular physical location, but you can also reach them with a secure message via Patient Online Services. Click here to find a complete listing of our ECH locations and hours.
Who can help me figure out what care option is appropriate?If you are uncertain about your symptoms, your care team appointment line can help guide you to the appropriate level of care. If you are certain that you need to make an appointment (such as a well-child appointment or a follow-up visit), they will help you schedule one. You may also reach a member of your care team through Patient Online Services secure messaging. Consider Mayo Clinic Express Care for minor conditions that don't require a visit to your primary care clinic.
What are the benefits of having a care team?A care team improves your care in several ways. In stead of depending on just one provider, you now have an entire team supporting you. When you need to see a specialist, your care team will connect you to the right person. Your team will remind you when it's time for a preventive exam or wellness screening. Often, you'll be able to receive care more quickly than in the past, since you'll now have more people who are prepared to meet your needs.
What is triage?
Triage means "to sort" and was originally used during wars to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients.
In Employee and Community Health (ECH), triage is the process for assessing a patient's need and urgency for services based on their condition. It's conducted over the phone by highly skilled registered nurses (RNs), who are specially trained to complete a detailed assessment of your current symptoms or condition. They apply their nursing experience, advanced telemedicine tools and critical thinking to determine the right time, right place and right provider for your care.
Why do I have to talk to a nurse to get an appointment?There are many conditions that can be treated over the phone following a triage assessment, which can help you save both time and money. There are also times when it would be better for you to go to the Emergency Department. The triage RN will ensure that you and your family receive the best, safest and most-appropriate care for your health concerns.
When is the best time to call so I don't have to wait to talk with someone?
Our triage phones are open Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 7 a.m. to noon.
- Although it's difficult to predict, typically the best time to reach an RN for triage is in the afternoons between 1 and 4 p.m.
- The highest phone volumes or longest wait times happen in the morning before 10 and again after 4 p.m.
- Saturday mornings are usually very busy with longer hold times.
- Consider using Patient Online Services, which can be more efficient and doesn't involve telephone waits, but allow 24 business hours for a response.
- Mayo Clinic Express Care also is an option for patients 18 months to 75 years old.
When should I go to Mayo Clinic Express Care?
Mayo Clinic Express Care (MCEC) offers two community walk-in clinics that provide limited-care services for minor, acute illnesses and conditions that do not require x-ray or blood work, such as acne, influenza and wart removal. See the complete listing of what Express Care will diagnose and treat.
Express Care sees patients 18 months through 75 years old on a first-come, first-served basis. You'll need to sign up for an appointment when you arrive. You also can schedule a visit by logging on to Patient Online Services.
The cost of a visit to an MCEC location is $59 but all or some of the cost may be covered by your health insurance. There also may be additional costs if other services, such as a throat culture, are provided.
When should I use Express Care Online versus being seen?
Mayo Clinic Express Care Online offers diagnosis and treatment for some common concerns. You can see a list of the options offered as well as the age limits for this service on our overview page.
The cost for this service is $49, but may be partially or completely covered by your insurance provider. If after utilizing Express Care Online your issue is unable to be resolved without a face-to-face visit, you may receive notice that you will not be charged for the online visit.
Do I really need an annual examination?
Maybe not. Whether you need an exam depends on your age, current health status and health history, among other factors. You and your primary care team will determine the preventive health schedule that is bets for you. Learn more about recommended tests and screening schedules.
And if you have health issues you are concerned about, don't wait for an annual exam. Call your primary care team to determine what kind of care is right for you.
How can I obtain a copy of my own or my child's immunization records?
You can get immunization records in two ways:
- Log in to Patient Online Services and select “Medical Record and Results » Immunizations.” Then look for the “Print All Immunizations” link.
- Contact your care team and request a copy.
Important information about immunization records
Immunizations are considered protected health information. Parents of patients age 17 and younger may obtain a copy of their child’s immunization records without a release of information. Patients age 18 and older must request this information themselves or sign a medical release allowing the information to be shared with another person.
Minnesota law permits certain providers caring for a patient to share immunization records without a patient’s consent. These include health care providers, insurers, elementary or secondary schools, child-care facilities and public or private post-secondary educational institutions. These groups may exchange immunization data with one another without the patient’s consent if the person requesting access is providing services for the patient.
Immunization records should not be transmitted via fax or email. All requests for paper immunization records should be picked up at your care team’s office or mailed to your home address.
Patients over the age of 18 who would like to give their parent or guardian access to their medical records, including immunization records, should fill out the Authorization for Mayo Clinic to Disclose Protected Health Information.
Patients or the parents or guardians of minors should fill out the Authorization to Release Protected Health Information, which allows Mayo Clinic to release records to a school or other facility.
How do I set up a Patient Online Services account for my child/adolescent?
Minor accounts let individuals from 13 to 17 years old create Patient Online Services accounts. Minor accounts have the same viewing and messaging capabilities as adult accounts. These types of accounts allow providers and young patients to interact via mobile devices and the internet.
- Minor accounts can only be created and validated in person with both the minor and their parent or guardian present at a Mayo Clinic location or Mayo Clinic Health System location. Minors cannot use online, phone or notarized form validation.
For minors under the age of 13, the parent/guardian may request caregiver access. You must first have your own Patient Online Services account. once you log in to your account select "Account Settings", then select "Request Access to Another Account." Once you have completed the submission form, your request will be reviewed; you will receive an email after it is processed.
Review the Creating Caregiver Access and Minor Accounts brochure for more information.
How long does it take to get a response from Patient Online Services?Our typical turnaround time is 24 to 48 hours. We strive to meet this standard, but on occasion, additional information is needed from others, which may delay our response time. If a response is needed sooner than this timeframe, please give your care team a call.
Who do I contact for help with Patient Online Services?If you have questions, please complete the online help form or call 877-858-0398 toll-free from within the U.S. or Canada, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST.
How can I refill a prescription?If you filled your prescription at another pharmacy, you’ll need to make the request to that pharmacy directly. If your pharmacy needs more information or a renewal from your provider, they will contact us directly to complete the refill process. Please allow at least 7 to 10 days to receive your prescription. Learn more about Mayo Clinic Pharmacies.
Why should I contact my primary care team first for specialty issues?Your primary care team is your first point of contact for all of your health care needs. They know you and your health history and can coordinate any specialty care you may need. In some cases, they may be able to arrange an eConsult with a specialist or bring the right specialist into your primary care appointment to save you the hassle of scheduling separate appointments and taking more time away from work or other activities.
How do I update my contacts, insurance/billing, living will, etc.?
Log in to your Patient Online Services account; under "Upcoming visits" select "Update your registration info." Here you will be able to view/update your personal and insurance information, as well as review and sign the Mayo Clinic Authorizations and Services Terms. You also may receive an email from your care team asking you to complete online patient forms or questionnaires before an upcoming appointment. Be sure to complete and submit these when you receive the notice.
For any other updates, send a message to your care team via Patient Online Services with your request, and we will be happy to help update your information.
What is a nurse wellness exam?The annual wellness visit helps patients maintain their health, identify any health risks and create goals for a healthy lifestyle. Individuals who are at least 66 years old and have been on Medicare Part B for at least one year qualify for an annual wellness visit. During the visit, a registered nurse performs required health screenings (e.g. fall risk, depression, hearing/vision, etc.), reviews preventive health needs and helps the patient make a plan for meeting their health and wellness needs. The visit does not include a routine physical checkup. If the registered nurse identifies a health problem during this visit, they may recommend a separate medical visit with the primary care provider.