Lehigh Valley Health Network shifts focus away from hospitals

Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Health Network is shifting its focus from hospitals to neighborhood clinics, urgent care centers and digital doctor visits, according to The Morning Call.

Lehigh Valley Health Network recorded 137,416 ExpressCARE virtual visits, nearly 275,000 emergency room visits and over 1 million outpatient registrations in 2017, according to the network's annual report.

However, as demand for convenient outpatient care over inpatient care increases, the network may reduce its inpatient facilities in the distant future, said Terry Capuano, COO of Lehigh Valley Health Network.

To make care more convenient in the growing network, LVHN added an ExpressCARE center in Monroe County, Pa., and health centers in Easton and Palmer Township, Pa.

Patients can now receive medical advice and prescriptions for minor health problems through office visits that take place over video chats. The network also uses a video conferencing application, which allows specialists to see patients in rural parts of the state, and other digital applications that patients can use to compare wait times at urgent care centers and book appointments.

LVHN completed its 100th video visit this week, according to Brian Nester, DO, president and CEO of LVHN.

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