Two Healthcare Systems Use Telehealth Kiosks to Expand Reach

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, March 6, 2018

Within just a few weeks of each other, NewYork-Presbyterian and BayCare Health System each announced new telehealth kiosk programs with Walgreens and Publix, respectively.

Two health systems are expanding their digital health delivery programs by hosting telehealth kiosks at retail pharmacy locations.

Within just a few weeks of each other, NewYork-Presbyterian and Florida-based BayCare Health System each announced new programs with Walgreens and Publix, respectively, to allow patients to access doctors from those institutions via medical-device equipped, self-service, telehealth kiosks.

Patients can sit down at telehealth kiosks inside the stores and be connected within minutes to board-certified physicians. If a prescription is needed, one can be sent immediately to whatever pharmacy the patient wants.

The kiosks are located in private rooms and are equipped with high-definition cameras and tools such as thermometers, blood pressure cuff, and pulse oximeters.

Daniel Barchi, Patrick Carroll, and Jeffrey Held
Daniel Barchi, Patrick Carroll, and Jeffrey Held

NewYork-Presbyterian and BayCare already had existing telehealth programs in place, and both view the expansion into retail settings as a way to reach more patients—including ones that are underserved—in places that patients already frequent.

"We want to make healthcare accessible and put in places that our patients … go to on a daily basis," Jeffrey Held, MD, vice president and chief medical officer for BayCare Health System's ambulatory division, tells HealthLeaders Media. "That customer service partnership made sense. People often go to pharmacies to look for simple questions about healthcare."

Building on existing programs

Having well-established virtual medicine programs made it relatively uncomplicated to add kiosks to NewYork-Presbyterian and BayCare's service offerings.

For example, Daniel Barchi, chief information officer at NewYork-Presbyterian, says the first telemedicine kiosks at two Duane Reade locations in Manhattan are simply an extension of the exiting NYP OnDemand suite of digital health services.

"NewYork-Presbyterian has already made significant investments in the infrastructure, physicians, and processes for our NYP OnDemand program and virtual care," he told HealthLeaders Media via email. "Through the addition of the kiosks and the partnership with Walgreens, we are able to offer the service for $99 to patients."

Alexandra Wilson Pecci

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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