Hospitals deploy telehealth programs in response to Hurricane Dorian
We recently discussed how educators in Florida are spearheading a revolutionary telehealth initiative to connect students living with the trauma of last year’s Hurricane Michael – the first Category 5 storm to make landfall in almost three decades – with mental health professionals in schools. But as the southeastern US reckons with the fallout of another monster storm in the form of Hurricane Dorian, it’s Florida’s medical community that’s stepping up to help those affected.
In the leadup to the storm making landfall last week, eight hospitals in the region announced they’d be offering free virtual care visits during and after Dorian. The hospitals span Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina, where the hurricane first made landfall in the states and stood at record rains and flooding stranded many across the region.
The hospitals delivering these services are fortunate enough to be part of healthcare networks that have already embraced hybrid cloud to accelerate the development of digital solutions that expand the reach of care they could provide far beyond “in-office” or emergency visits. For instance, AdventHealth of Altamonte Springs, Florida, announced they’d be giving free eCare video consultations via the AdventHealth app that’s already proven popular in serving members of the Orlando suburb.
Other hospitals offering similar solutions include:
- Atrium Health (Charlotte, N.C.): Free non-emergency Virtual Visits via mobile device, computer or tablet for South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia residents with code DORIAN.
- Bayfront Health (St. Petersburg, Fla.): Free Virtual Health Connect visits via mobile device, computer or tablet through Sept. 14, with code DORIAN.
- Beaufort (S.C.) Memorial Hospital: Free, 24/7 non-emergency virtual medical care through the BMH Care Anywhere app or website through Sept. 15, with code Dorian.
- Lee Health (Fort Myers, Fla.): Free Lee TeleHealth visits through the corresponding mobile app or website through Sept. 7 with code DORIAN.
- Memorial Healthcare System (Hollywood, Fla.): Free online telehealth visits with MemorialDOCNow physicians regarding non-emergency minor medical needs and psychological consultations, via app or computer, through Sept. 14, with code DORIAN.
- MUSC Health (Charleston, S.C.): Free virtual care visits for all South Carolina residents to diagnose approximately 80 conditions before, during and after the storm, using promo code MUSCDORIAN.
- Roper St. Francis Healthcare (Charleston, S.C.): Free on-demand video visits through their website or RSF Virtual Care app, using code DORIAN.
Ensuring that hospitals, doctors and patients are able to successfully connect via these telehealth portals requires vigilant visibility on the part of hospital IT. Without leveraging solutions that can monitor the multiple connections that deliver these apps to end users in the field, teams can’t readily assure whether patients are truly being heard.