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Officials call for expansion of telemedicine for overcrowded emergency roomsPosted: Updated:
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is calling for the expansion of telemedicine as a way to mitigate overcrowded emergency rooms.
The borough president and local health officials are for city hospitals to use telemedicine to prescreen patients before they go to the emergency room. This allows health care professionals to evaluate patients through an electronic device to understand the best treatment for the patient.
"Virtually every activity in our lives we use mobile devices, and there's no reason we should not use mobile devices under this circumstance," said Adams.
The borough president says that by using an app, patients will be able to tell a doctor their symptoms and the doctor will be able to look over the patient's past medical history to give them medical advice about whether or not they should go to the emergency room, or if they should be prescribed medicine for their illness.
He is also pushing for the city to put a plan in place to expand telemedicine to every hospital in the city.
"The city should put in that infrastructure to say, here's where you can call, here's how you get the screening, here's how you use the FaceTimes," said Adams.
Health officials say most insurances cover telemedicine but that they will still work with those who aren't insured. Borough President Adams says that mobile testing centers would also help to alleviate emergency rooms by testing patients right in their communities.
He is also calling for adult day care services to continue remotely. News 12 reached out to the mayor's office asking if a plan will be put in place to expand telemedicine to hospitals across the city but has not heard back yet.
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