Florida Department of Health Selects GD Telehealth Solution to Ensure Critical Access to Rural Healthcare
The state’s Critical Access Hospitals Implement e-Bridge for a Telemedicine Communications Network
Ridgefield, NJ – December 18, 2020 – GD (General Devices), a company specializing in mobile telemedicine and telehealth, announced the Florida Department of Health is using GD’s telehealth solutions to provide consistent communications across rural healthcare teams to address healthcare challenges made worse during COVID-19.
The department’s Office of Rural Health secured funding for a telehealth project to implement a statewide COVID-19 telemedicine communications network for Florida’s 10 critical access hospitals (CAHs) and their local rural EMS agencies to improve management and identification of time-critical diagnoses and assist with COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment and transport.
The GD e-Bridge mobile telemedicine app includes a dedicated GD COVID-19 Screening Module screen button. This button launches a screening form for data collection of pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) information. The module also offers live video conferencing with remote providers for screening and medical direction. The team communications tool also records and stores video clips and provides HIPAA-secure data sharing.
Florida’s 10 Critical Access Hospitals included in the project are:
- Doctor’s Memorial Hospital-Bonifay
- Northwest Florida Community Hospital
- Calhoun-Liberty Hospital
- George E Weems Hospital
- Madison County Memorial Hospital
- Lake Butler Hospital
- AdventHealth Wauhula
- Hendry Regional Medical Center
- Mariners Hospital
- Fisherman’s Hospital.
Critical Access Hospital is a designation given to eligible rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The hospitals receive certain benefits, such as cost-based reimbursement for Medicare services and federal funding.
Telehealth treatment can take place anytime and anywhere and is ideal for those who have trouble with in-person appointments. e-Bridge can help mental health providers offer treatment to people in remote areas or to many people in times of sudden rural healthcare need such as following a natural disaster or terror attack.
The Mobile Integrated Health solution offers:
- Post hospital follow-up and care
- Reduced reliance on EMS, non-emergent 9-1-1 and emergency department transports
- Community outreach to rural areas
- Program support for mental health, overdose and chronic disease management
Richard Lewis, director of EMS at George E Weems Memorial Hospital, said implementing a telehealth program in Franklin County was essential because some patients are located up to 80 miles from the hospital. The aging population often has no transportation to the hospital, and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated problems for the patients to receive care for chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Lewis based his telemedicine communications tool search around three criteria. The software had to be HIPAA compliant, user friendly for those who aren’t familiar with technology, and customizable and flexible. After deploying the e-Bridge telehealth solution Aug. 1, Lewis said the solution delivered on all three points.
“The program and software have worked flawlessly, and it’s actually exceeded our expectations,” Lewis said. “We are starting to add new features to it.”
Contact GD to learn how e-Bridge can provide a telemedicine communications network for your team. The company’s Dedicated Responsive Innovation team will work with your requirements to implement the tools you need for success.
ABOUT GD (General Devices)
GD is a 40-year-old medical technology company that specializes in mobile telemedicine and telehealth that, enables simply smarter patient care by empowering hospitals, EMS, mobile integrated healthcare, community paramedicine and public safety responders with the most comprehensive, highly configurable, and affordable medical team communications solutions. Learn more at general-devices.com