Virtual ER launches for Albany County residents

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Unit of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office announced a partnership with UCM Digital Health on Tuesday, bringing telehealth solutions to emergency calls countywide. The collaboration provides patients with access to virtual care during emergencies by a UCM provider who serves as an extension of EMS treatment.

EMTs and paramedics can diagnose patients onsite, determine injury severity, and initiate a virtual consultation with an experienced and licensed physician who will then proceed to treat and triage the presenting medical issues. Officials believe this partnership will improve patient care, streamline workflows, and reduce unnecessary emergency room (ER) visits.

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 treatments. A follow-up virtual consultation with a UCM provider can also be scheduled for the patient.

“Ambulance service extends considerable time and resources transporting patients who might be better cared for outside of the emergency room,” said Steve Anderson, Director of EMS & 911, UCM Digital Health. “When an EMS crew is managing low to moderate emergency calls, system readiness for high-level emergencies is diminished. We are proud to partner with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department to help address health care capacity issues, improve quality care, and significantly reduce unnecessary emergency room visits.”

UCM Digital Health also has this EMS integration in place with dozens of other agencies. The organization said it plans to continue its expansion to additional counties, municipalities, and networks in the Capital Region and beyond.

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