Banner Health Offers Virtual Appointments For COVID-19 Patients

By Harry Croton
Published: Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 8:40am
Updated: Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 8:47am
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COVID-19 patients at Banner Health’s 28 acute care facilities will be able to meet with doctors virtually through new telemedicine technology.

In late March, Banner Health unveiled technology for ambulatory patients who needed to visit with a doctor but feared exposure in a medical facility.

It was deployed to nearly 3,500 care providers and has been used in almost 30,000 virtual visits.

Now, Banner has partnered with Intel Corporation to provide a two-way audiovisual service for inpatient use.

All 28 hospitals have begun using the technology and it’s now being installed in emergency rooms. Dr. Michael Simons is the medical director for telehealth services.

“We've provisioned about slightly over 900 physicians to utilize the inpatient solution and we've conducted about 827 visits to date," Simons said.

Simons says while the technology is used mainly for COVID-19 patients, its success could revolutionize the medical appointment process and make virtual visits the new norm.

“It would allow for more follow up for those patients with chronic conditions, and it would be much more efficient, both for the patient and for the provider, as they don't have to fumble through that front office process.”

Last month, around 50% of COVID-19 hospital visits were conducted virtually through patients’ smartphones and other devices.

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