UCM Digital Health and Columbia County Emergency Medical Services Partner to Bring Virtual Care to 9-1-1 Patients

EMS Services and UCM Digital Health connect patients to virtual care and reduce unnecessary ER visits, streamline workflow, and improve patient care

TROY, N.Y. May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — UCM Digital Health (UCM), a leading digital health and telehealth provider, including a 24/7 emergency medicine triage, treatment, and navigation service, is proud to announce a joint program with the Columbia County EMS Coordinator’s Office—in conjunction with Columbia County 911—to bring its innovative digital health platform solution to emergency calls.

The program provides patients with access to virtual care by a UCM provider who serves as a real-time extension of EMS or 911 treatment. It will be offered to 911 callers when the County’s EMS resources are depleted and when area hospitals are experiencing extended wait times in their Emergency Departments. It gives patients immediate access to care, avoiding unnecessary and often-costly trips to the emergency room.

This shared operation allows UCM to seamlessly integrate Columbia County emergency services with readily available physicians who can determine if a patient requires in-hospital emergency care or if treatment can be administered in-home. The program reduces excessive workload burdens shouldered by EMS providers and emergency rooms. With increased efficiencies, medical providers gain the capacity to focus on higher-level medical emergencies. This provides patients with the right care, in the right setting, at the most cost-effective level.

“We remain committed to providing the best and most efficient prehospital care possible,” said PJ Keeler, Columbia County EMS Coordinator. “This partnership enhances care delivery and allows patients with low acuity ailments to avoid costly and often lengthy ER visits while simultaneously receiving an assessment by an emergency physician in the comfort of their own home.”

Through this partnership, when diagnosing a patient, 911 dispatchers can determine the severity level and if emergency care or a hospital visit is necessary. After the assessment, if the patient can benefit from care outside a hospital, with the caller’s consent, dispatchers can initiate a virtual consultation with a UCM trained, experienced, and licensed physician who will then proceed to treat and triage, ensuring proper care is administered.

In addition to treating a patient’s immediate concerns, the UCM Digital Health team can provide medical advice and reassurance, prescribe medications, and issue referrals for supplemental treatment, including laboratory testing, radiological imaging, and specialist appointments, should they be needed. Additionally, a follow-up virtual consultation can even be scheduled for the patient.

“Ambulance service extends considerable time and resources transporting patients who might be better cared for outside the emergency room,” said Steve Anderson, director of EMS & 911 business development, UCM Digital Health. “When a first responder crew is managing a non-emergency call, system readiness for true emergencies is diminished. We are proud to partner with Columbia County EMS and 911 to help address health care capacity issues, improve quality care, and significantly reduce unnecessary ambulance activations and emergency room visits.”

UCM Digital Health also has this 911 integration in place with Rensselaer County and plans to continue its expansion to additional counties, municipalities, and networks.

About UCM Digital Health
UCM Digital Health (UCM) offers a digitally integrated, whole person health solution that provides patients with immediate access to care on their terms. UCM combines a digital front door platform, multi-disciplinary team of providers, and a 24/7 treatment, triage and care navigation telehealth service to provide a range of patient services, including emergent and urgent care, primary and specialty care, behavioral health, and more. All care begins digitally, but can seamlessly integrate across other points of care for a simple patient experience. UCM Digital Health serves over 600 clients and over 2 million patients, bringing together clinical expertise, advanced technology and compassionate care to offer powerful advantages for insurers, brokers, employers, patients and providers. Located in Troy, New York, UCM Digital Health was founded in 2015 by emergency medicine clinicians Keith Algozzine, PA-C and Michael Bibighaus, M.D., in an effort to combine healthcare and technology. UCM is URAC accredited for Telehealth Services. www.ucmdigitalhealth.com

About Columbia County Emergency Medical Services
The Columbia County EMS System is composed of five individual ambulance services who work collaboratively to provide advanced life support level care to the residents and visitors of Columbia County, NY. The system responds to over 15,000 calls for service each year and operates a system status management model under the direction of Columbia County 911. Since its inception, the Columbia County EMS System has reduced response times to medical emergencies in Columbia County and improved patient outcomes. It’s a system of teamwork and cooperation that results in innovative policies and practices that ensure exceptional pre-hospital emergency medical care. For more information, visit www.ccemscoordinator.com.