Ohio city taps Cleveland Clinic clinicians for telehealth EMS program

Akron, Ohio, has been working to reduce the load on its emergency services and ambulance fleet through a telehealth pilot program where patients can receive virtual care from clinicians at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, the Akron Beacon Journal reported March 22.

So far, some fire emergency services crews are using the telehealth program, with plans to expand when the City of Akron Fire Department takes over transporting all patients to the emergency room. 

Since January 2021, Akron General has provided telehealth care on 3,975 emergency calls; of those callers, only 15 percent ended up in the emergency department in the next 48 hours.

Fire Chief Joe Natko is working on getting other local hospitals, such as Akron Children's and Akron-based Summa Healthcare, enrolled in the program.

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