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Help is a click away

One Saturday, not long ago, Dale Robinson was mowing the lawn in his shoes, but wasn’t wearing any socks. After finishing up and going inside, he noticed his foot didn’t quite look right.

“It looked like my foot was sunburned on top and a little swollen,” he recalls. 

By the next day, the foot was so red and swollen that he couldn’t get it into his shoe. “At this point, I suspected that because I wasn’t wearing socks while I was mowing, I got bit by a spider or some other insect,” he says. That’s when his wife took him to the Emergency Department (ED) at Northern Light Mercy Hospital.

After a 15-minute ride to the hospital from their Scarborough home, he was seen and treated by ED staff. He says they sent him home with a special boot for his foot and a prescription for medication to reduce the swelling. Because his pharmacy was closed on Sunday, he did not immediately pick up his prescription. By the next morning, the swelling looked worse to him and that’s when his wife suggested trying Northern Light Health’s Online Care service.

“My wife heard about this new service at work, but I’m not very tech savvy. So, she helped me to set it up on my iPad,” he says.  

Online Care is an online video visit that allows audio and visual real-time communication with a provider from within our system who can assess or give you treatment options for these conditions:

  • Bronchitis
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Gastrointestinal virus (stomach flu)
  • Influenza (aka “Flu”)
  • Minor ear irritation
  • Rash or skin infection
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat and cold
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Dale says he used his iPad to speak with a provider and used the camera to show them his foot. The provider confirmed that the swelling would go down once the medication ran its course and according to Dale, that’s precisely what happened. “I’d recommend the service,” he says. “It was great to have that second opinion and was very convenient.” 

Northern Light Online Care is a convenient way to access routine and non-urgent medical care every day  from 8 am to 8 pm for yourself and anyone in your family over the age of 16 who is covered on our health plan. If you’d like to learn more about the service and how to access it, watch our video at To access the service, visit