Ambulance telemedicine freeing up emergency rooms for those most in need

Benita Zahn
Updated: November 20, 2020 07:56 PM
Created: November 20, 2020 06:16 PM

As coronavirus cases surge, hospitals are being inundated. That's where a partnership between a local ambulance company and a telemedicine service comes into play. It's helping keep people home who don't need care at an emergency department.

When Mohawk Ambulance started that collaboration about a year ago, they could never imagine how timely it would be.

The goal is to get the right care for the patient at home when possible. When the health issue isn't urgent, the paramedic consults with a doctor at Troy based United Concierge Medicine.

It's really simple - the call is done via a HIPAA compliant Zoom app placed either on a smartphone or as of next week, on a tablet. The larger screen is easier for seniors to interact with the physician.

Utilizing telemedicine was in the works for more than a year. The pandemic fast tracked it.

The telemedicine link continues even after the ambulance team leaves.

Make no mistake, if the call is for a critically ill person, they're taking them directly to the hospital.

MVP and CDPHP are currently covering the cost of the telemedicine visit. As they prove the value of this model, more insurers are showing interest.

Right now patients have two options - be transported to the hospital for a true emergency, or use the services of telemedicine in their home. A third option is about to be added, where an ambulance could transport you to a place like an urgent care.

Learn more about when that's expected to start by watching the video of Benita Zahn's story.

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