New Jersey hospital launches emergency telemedicine services

Paramus, N.J.-based Bergen New Bridge Medical Center unveiled a new telehealth service line aimed at diagnosing and treating emergency medical conditions, according to a Nov. 7 news release.

The hospital, which is an affiliate of Rutgers, partnered with telemedicine and software development company Air Visits on the program. Called Bergen New Bridge Cares, the program allows physicians at the 1,070-bed hospital to use telemedicine technology to treat patients with more serious conditions such as congestive heart failure.

Aimed at reducing unnecessary hospital visits, the program allows patients to connect with a remote physician during situations when they are unsure of whether they are experiencing a medical emergency. The virtual care system is used in conjunction with the traditional U.S. 911 call system, so physicians can call a 911 dispatcher to coordinate what facilities the patient should be sent to.

"For inpatient discharges, this could mean the difference between life and death," said Dr. Alexander Chiu, MD, medical director at Bergen New Bridge Cares, according to the news release. "Bergen New Bridge treats a significant number of patients with behavioral health conditions, as well as, high-risk medical conditions. Platforms with telemedicine 911 are needed to provide safe and effective care because the risk of an emergency is high."

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