Care OnDemand, Oswego Health’s new program enabling virtual doctor’s visits, is set to launch before year’s end in Oswego County, New York, thanks to a $35,000 gift from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation.
With Care OnDemand, Oswego residents will soon be able to receive health care and medical advice from the comfort of their own homes simply by using their smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Telemedicine programs like Care OnDemand aim to expand access to healthcare, especially for patients on Medicaid. Since the passage of a 2015-16 New York state law allowing for telehealth delivery, 35 New York state counties have participated in telehealth.
Telehealth services help improve effective use of limited specialist time, allow for better coordination of care across offices and providers, and helps prevent unnecessary emergency or other hospital visits. On the patient side, programs like these improve access to both primary and specialty care, cut out potentially lengthy wait and travel times, and reduces barriers to care created by geographic or socioeconomic factors.
Care OnDemand will be made possible by a collaboration between Oswego Health and Seattle-based Carena (now Avizia). Patients can participate in the program for a fee of $39. Once enrolled, they can use Care OnDemand to report sickness or other healthcare problems. Within 30 minutes, a doctor will be available to assist them. Patients will provide a verbal description of their condition and list any current medications to the physician, who can even prescribe medications through the program. Once the call ends, any pertinent information will be sent on to the patient’s primary care provider.
“We are very grateful to the Shineman Foundation, which recognizes the importance of this new service that puts healthcare at the fingertips of community residents,” said Karen Ferguson, Director of Oswego Health Foundation.
Read more about Carena’s new partnership with Oswego Health here.