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.