By Mari Devereaux
Telehealth and emergency medicine triage provider UCM Digital Health is partnering with another emergency medicine group to expand patient-centered, mobile resources outside of hospitals.
UCM and Empress Emergency Medical Services expect their collaboration will allow patients to access virtual and hands-on medical care at home, work, or wherever they are without visiting the emergency department or urgent care.
“Mobile integrated health allows us to solve more problems for the patient in their home so we don’t have to send them to any brick and mortar facilities unnecessarily,” said Keith Algozzine, CEO and co-founder of UCM Digital Health.
The companies first launched their joint services in New York, Algozzine said, and plan to continue expanding the program nationally within a year.
UCM Digital Health remote care teams are available on-demand, 24/7 to patients for phone calls and virtual consults. If UCM Digital Health clinicians determine that a patient needs in-person treatment, Empress sends a paramedic to their location within the hour.
New York-based Empress EMS is a division of PatientCare EMS Solutions, which provides pre-hospital care and emergency medical services in several states.
Empress paramedics often complete tasks like checking patient vital signs and blood glucose levels, performing physical examinations and EKGs and assessing social health determinants to get a more complete and accurate picture of a patient’s health.
For higher-risk patients, paramedics can provide elevated assessments, intravenous treatments and medications, as well as splint or bandage a severe wound.
If patients still aren’t better after paramedic intervention, they will be transported to the hospital if needed, Algozzine said.
Providing care at home can eliminate safety risks, bridge the gap between patients and physicians and avoid hospital visits when possible, according to Kathy Valencia, home care field director at the Joint Commission.
“The goal of home care providers is to keep patients safe in their home,” she said. “That’s where the patients want to be.”
Home care can also administer intravenous therapy or teach patients how to manage and store their own medications at home, Valencia said.
Patients seeking quality want care to be as affordable, accessible, convenient and personal as possible, Algozzine said, and for UCM Digital Health, focusing on the patient has led to better business outcomes.
“It’s sizing the care and creating a more complete solution so you get the right care at the right place at the right time,” he said.