New York-Presbyterian starts offering virtual ER visits

On August 8th, 2016, posted in: Industry News by

The New York-Presbyterian health system has created a platform to provide a variety of telehealth services to patients across its network and across the country.

New York-Presbyterian says its new NYP On Demand platform provides virtual emergency and will begin offering virtual urgent-care visits by the end of the summer. It anticipates the program will reduce wait times in their emergency department and provide patients with more convenient care options. The system says it is the first health system in New York to provide virtual ER services.

“We need to be able to improve access for our patients,” said Dr. Peter Fleischut, New York-Presbyterian’s chief innovation officer. “We need to make it easier for them to access the care they need.”

Hospitals and healthcare providers are increasingly harnessing telehealth platforms to augment their traditional care, provide patients with more convenient options and potentially reduce costs. A booming area for telemedicine is urgent care, where health systems could treat simple problems like a cough or runny nose cheaper, according to Dr. Alan Pitt, chief medical officer of telehealth company Avizia.

New York-Presbyterian wants to revamp how it provides emergency and urgent care and expand access to experts in the faculty practices at the health system’s two affiliated medical schools—Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical College.

For emergency care, some visitors to the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell campus can now elect to receive a virtual visit from a physician rather than an in-person examination after their initial medical screening. Fleischut said the health system will be expanding the program to provide virtual urgent-care visits in patients’ homes across New York state by the end of the summer.

The telehealth platform will also allow New York-Presbyterian patients to make digital follow-up appointments starting this fall. It also will allow New York-Presbyterian doctors to digitally consult with specialists at other facilities within the network to provide more convenient care.

“We anticipate this is how we need to be operation in the future to engage with our patients,” Fleischut said. “I would guarantee that we will be adding services into this” platform.

New York-Presbyterian has also launched an initiative to provide patients across the country with digital second opinions in 80 medical specialties through the NYP On Demand platform. Rather than traveling to New York City to consult with experts from Columbia or Weill Cornell, patients can pay an $800 one-time fee to receive a second opinion from a New York-Presbyterian physician. The health system says more than 300 physicians are already participating in the program.

“At New York-Presbyterian, we are looking to redefine the intersection of technology and healthcare, and our new digital health platform is our way of strengthening traditional telehealth services,” said Dr. Steven Corwin, CEO of New York-Presbyterian.

Article source: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160727/NEWS/160729905

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