For members of the ADAPT Community Network, health care can be a complex issue and now the coronavirus lockdown complicates that even further.
“It’s been very difficult, “ said Rose Wargo, the vice president of nursing for ADAPT. "Training staff to deal with this pandemic, everyday things change.”
Wargo says their partnership with the telemedicine company StationMD has helped community members in their residential programs avoid unnecessary trips to the E.R. during the COVID-19 crisis.
"We call into them, the doctor is able to do EKG’s , stabilize people,” she explained. "So many people did not have to go to the hospital because of StationMD’s assessments while the people were at home."
The program includes 24-hour access to an emergency physician that they can reach through the computer screen.
"I mean just to have a resource like that at the tip of our fingers is wonderful,” said Wargo.
“We’ve been able to really do some good work with organizations like ADAPT, “ said Doctor Maulik Trivedi, one of the co-founders of StationMD.
"Our primary focus is really providing quality care using telemedicine and telehealth as a solution to the I.D.D. population, that's the intellectual and developmentally disabled population,” he explained.
Dr. Trivedi says their physicians have access to patients' records, can “e-prescribe” medicine and conduct virtual examinations.
"We have a camera that allows us to Zoom in look at rashes, we have a Bluetooth stethoscope which allow us to listen to heart and lung sounds, we do a thorough physical examination," said Dr. Trivedi.
Another benefit is that family members can take part in calls. If it’s determined the patient does need to visit an emergency room, StationMD will call ahead to the hospital.
"So the doctor in the E.R. knows what they're getting, they know this case,” explained Dr. Trivedi.
StationMD says another benefit of their service is that their doctors typically follow up with patients about an hour or two following their virtual consultation. StationMD believes this could be the new standard of care for vulnerable populations in the future.
On whether this is something ADAPT will keep using in some capacity going forward, Wargo said, “Right now we're part of a grant and we're only utilizing StationMD in 13 of our sites, just seeing how wonderful it's working out... I don't see why we wouldn't want to expand it to all of the sites.”
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