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BRMC, OGH offering virtual visits to emergency department patients

Posted on: 08/19/2020

Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center have launched a virtual telehealth patient visit program for emergency room patients called ED2Home.

The program allows patients to schedule a visit with an emergency department provider for minor illness and injuries from the comfort of their own home using a computer, tablet or smartphone. The program will allow patients to speak with a provider and potentially avoid a trip to the emergency department while still getting the care they need.

“This program will offer patients a great new convenience enabling them to schedule a virtual visit from their own homes,” said William Mills, MD, chief medical officer for UAHS. “While the program is meant to make an emergency department experience easier for non-life threatening injuries or illnesses, it is not a substitute for critical situations,” Dr. Mills said. “During a telehealth visit, the clinician will determine if the patient needs to come in for an actual visit.”

“Patients experiencing symptoms of heart attack or stroke need to call 911 and get to the emergency department immediately for an in-person visit. For other medical issues like potentially broken bones, lacerations needing stitching or more serious medical needs, an in-person visit will also be necessary,” Dr. Mills said. “

Dr. Mills also explained that usage of telehealth services allows emergency department staff to work with more critically ill patents and free up sometimes congested situations. “Certainly seeing less critical patients via virtual visits allows staff to focus on the most seriously ill or injured patients.” Dr. Mills said.

“BRMC and OGH also offer virtual telehealth visits with a few primary care providers and specialists in our practices. One of the results of COVID-19 was the refocusing of care delivery via telehealth programs. While the emergence of telehealth within our system was directly related to the pandemic, it was clear that virtual visits would be preferential for many of our patients,” said Jeff Zewe, RN, president and CEO of Upper Allegheny Health System. “We expect to see growth of telehealth in other practices and service lines in the future,” he said.

To access the ED2Home program patients can visit the Olean General Hospital website at www.ogh.org or the Bradford Regional Medical Center website at www.brmc.com and click on the ED2Home icon on the homepage.

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