Local EMS organizations throughout New York state are arming their paramedics with tablets to conduct paramedic consults with an emergency medical provider from UCM Digital Health in order to provide quality patient care — but help free up emergency rooms for those most in need. During emergency calls, the connections are made via the tablet – from paramedic to patient to medical provider; that telehealth consult with a UCM Digital Health emergency medical provider helps determine the best course of care for the patients. The medical provider assesses the patient with the help of the paramedic on site, thus reducing roughly 70 percent of transports to the local hospital.
Greene County Emergency Medical Systems recently implemented this telehealth offering from UCM Digital Health for their teams in the five stations located in Greene County. Their units provide primary ALS coverage to the towns of Ashland, Athens, Cairo, Coxsackie, Durham, Greenville, Hunter, Lexington, New Baltimore, and Prattsville; and back-up ALS coverage to neighboring towns and counties.
“Greene County EMS Paramedics (GCEMS) in partnering with UCM Digital Health (UCM) is now able to offer the residents of our rural county a 21st century telemedicine medical visit option,” said Mark Evans, president, Board of Directors at Greene County EMS Paramedics. “With no hospital within our county and transport times from the most rural areas of 1-2 hours to reach a hospital, this service is an invaluable option to our GCEMS Paramedics.”
When a rural location means a 1-2 hour drive to the nearest hospital, telehealth is needed.
“It could save a significant amount of mileage, said Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore in a recent article announcing the partnership. “Sometimes people are traveling to the hospital for things that are relatively simple and can be solved via this service.”
Greene County Emergency Medical Systems’ mission is to provide the highest level of exemplary pre-hospital clinical care, to the residents and guests of Greene County, in a safe and professional manner by using a team of knowledgeable, skillful, and caring, certified EMS providers. Adding this telehealth program is a way to further provide care to the residents in the areas they serve.
“In 2021 with the advent of Covid-19 everyone now knows what telemedicine is, the availability can significantly reduce unnecessary ambulance transports and keep valuable EMS resources in their home territory and available for the next call which could be life-threatening,” said Evans. “UCM has created an invaluable model to work with and made the implementation very easy.”
Read more about UCM Digital Health’s EMS program from some recent media coverage:
In this news feature from Benita Zhan at WNYT, she takes a deeper look at how ambulance telemedicine is freeing up emergency rooms for those most in need.
In an article with the Times-Union newspaper, Mike Bibighaus, M.D., UCM Digital Health’s Chief Medical Officer demonstrates the EMS program.