EHR data show southwest US hardest hit by flu diagnoses: 5 things to know

More than 13 percent of urgent care visits in January resulted in a flu diagnosis, marking the worst month DocuTAP ever recorded, the company told Becker's Hospital Review.

DocuTAP reviewed urgent care data collected by its EMR, practice management and revenue cycle management software from the past four years during the peak flu season months of November through March.

"Analysts continue to compare this flu season to the 2013-14 flu season, but there are significant differences that show it's now significantly worse," DocuTAP CEO and Founder Eric McDonald said in an email. 

Here are five things to know.

1. The percentage of flu visits at urgent care clinics in January 2018 reached 13.4 percent, compared to 6.2 percent of visits during the same month in 2013-14 and 7.1 percent of visits in 2014-15. 

2. Unlike the 2014-15 flu season, which saw flu cases start to decline in January, January 2018 saw the flu at its highest.

3. When comparing January's data to December 2017, the number of diagnoses nearly doubles. December saw 6.6 percent of visits to urgent cares include a flu diagnosis.

4. The 2016-17 flu season continued to note an increase in urgent care diagnoses through February, while the 2015-16 flu season continued to note an increase in urgent care diagnoses through March.

5. Here is how the flu is hitting each region of the U.S., listed in order of total urgent care clinic visits that resulted in a flu diagnosis.

  • Southwest (20.1 percent)
  • Southeast (15.6 percent)
  • Midwest (10.4 percent)
  • Northeast (9.3 percent)
  • West (7.5 percent)

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