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Telemedicine Access for All in Public Spaces

Kansas City, MO > Public Health Access
#telemedicineforall
D13c36f38f1dafdf6637889d2d2662bf?d=mm Jonathan Cokely

Proposed Jun. 3, 2020

Telemedicine  - in addition to the use of automated vitals monitoring and laboratory equipment - allows patients to access the healthcare system without the physical burden of a doctor's visit. Adopted early by men's health and medical marijuana start ups, where patients were able to speak with a licensed practitioner about their symptoms to determine if they were a candidate for prescription medications, telemedicine is now utilized by nearly all healthcare facilities to provide patient care without the risk of transmitting infectious diseases. In addition to the provider visit, a variety of technology is available to assess patient vitals, measurements, and lab results outside the four walls of a health care facility - a single drop of blood or a facial scan can now provide clinicians with valuable information without direct contact with the patient.


Under this policy, the KCMO Health Department would work in conjunction with health care providers (ex: Children's Mercy, Truman Medical Center, Samuel Rodgers Center), telecommunication companies (ex: Sprint, Google Fiber), pharmacies (ex: Walgreens, CVS) and technology vendors (ex: Cerner) to develop a virtual health care experience that can be accessed through privacy rooms or phone-booth style stalls across town - near public transit centers and public buildings, such as libraries, fire stations, schools, and City Hall. The goal would be to leverage public-private partnership to deliver this infrastructure at a low cost, with some services being entirely free to access. Patients would walk away from a visit with printed information about their health status and instructions for care, including prescriptions, educational materials, and next steps. Referrals for further care would be managed by the healthcare professionals in the KCMO Health Department, at the patient's request.

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Proposed Amendment

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Rick Usher (06/16/2020)
This proposal is right in line with the goals of Resolution 200411 which will be up for final City Council approval on the 18th. The amendment would be to include "telehealth" in the RFQ(s) to be developed for public private partnerships necessary to achieve the goals of the Resolution. http://cityclerk.kcmo.org/LiveWeb/Documents/Document.aspx?q=D72QMBSaf%2fvgxUIlW5tEDJNHT13kCrmMpPDDYmADIkO4waX45ysz2rffHERuLuwr

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Virginia Darter (06/16/2020)
Is the idea of the phone booth style setting that it could be accessed by individuals who don’t have access to a phone or internet? Is that the problem you’re proposing to solve? I’m trying to figure out how this is different than a walk in minute clinic, except that a provider is not in the room. Would it be less cost prohibitive to standup a free access programs within existing clinic settings? I agree telemedicine is a needed service in the spectrum of care and is much more cost effective for minor illnesses and injuries than traditional care. Regulations overly restricted telehealth until COVID happened and now we are seeing just how effective and efficient it can be widespread. But part of that is the low overhead on physical space, cleaning, regulatory compliance of a location, etc. which would be a concern in phone booth style situation. There are at least a dozen existing telemedicine-only healthcare applications (ie Dr on Demand) that work very well; in that case, as with physical locations, cost is a barrier that could be solved with low overhead programs that make care free for all residents. Is it access to phones and internet that you’re getting at? Again, I’m totally for the idea of low cost, free access healthcare for all. But I’m wondering what sets this particular phone booth “style” format you’ve suggested apart from other ways of delivering care that requires a physical site or a phone with internet, and whether a partnership in the existing spectrum of care could achieve the same thing at a lower capital investment?

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Quoleshna Elbert (06/10/2020)
This is a great idea that might encourage folks to seek out preventative care more often! I would hope that economically disadvantaged areas would receive a heavier distribution of these facilities. There would also need to be regular sanitizing of these facilities.

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Jurisdiction: Kansas City

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