A trip to the emergency room can sometimes be an all-day experience, and for people with disabilities, it can be a traumatic one.
That is why New Hope Community, a residential community for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, teamed up last year with StationMD, a telemedicine company focused on medical care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, on a pilot program to streamline health services and avoid possibly exposing their residents to COVID-19 at the emergency room.
What You Need To Know
- New Hope Community has teamed up with StationMD to streamline health services and avoid possibly exposing their residents to COVID-19 at the emergency room
- Each month, New Hope receives data from StationMD where they can track medical trends on its campus, allowing them to properly respond
- The telemedicine program has been expanded to the more than 240 residents that live in 42 homes receiving support services from New Hope
New Hope Community Chief Executive Officer Debra McGinness says it's all about being more proactive and preventative with residents’ health.
“We really wanted to be able to come up with more support that would provide holistic health care that would improve their level of health,” says McGinness.
Lawrence Crawford, an assistant house manager at New Hope, uses the program. During an interview with Spectrum News 1, he prepared his resident Dean for a trip to the ER without leaving the comfort of Dean’s home. With a few taps on an iPad, Crawford and Dean were connected to a physician.
“The StationMD is like a second option for you to use, just in case you feel like you don't want to go outside,” says Crawford.
Dr. Matthew Kaufman, CEO of StationMD, says the program helps foster a greater connection.
“If I can solve a problem and solve a medical issue with someone in their home without exposing them to that huge disruption of life, that gives me a great deal of satisfaction,” says Kaufman.
“This year, we're figuring we will avert probably close to about 325 emergency room visits. Only 10% of people that ended up tapping into a physician through telemedicine end up needing to go to the ER,” says McGinness.
McGinness believes that with fewer ER visits, New Hope could save as much as $325,000 a year. For Crawford and Dean, having the option to use telemedicine is an easy one.
“Being able to not have to gather so much paperwork and go, proceeding with the transportation to take them there if it's an issue, that could be done over just through a tablet with the MD that can be resolved in a matter of five to 10 minutes … I would rather take that route rather than sitting in the ER for hours on end,” says Crawford.
Each month, New Hope receives data from StationMD where they can track medical trends on its campus, allowing them to properly respond. The telemedicine program has been expanded to the more than 240 residents that live in 42 homes receiving support services from New Hope.