PORTLAND, Ore. — March 9, 2020 — To help meet the demands of possible novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks in local communities across the nation, Bright.md is offering a free COVID-19 evaluation, screening and escalation tool to all hospitals in the U.S. In line with the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations to leverage telehealth to mitigate the spread of the virus, the free screening tool will allow patients to get advice from home, 24 hours a day, steering them away from emergency departments or urgent care clinics unless the severity of their condition warrants in-person care.
“The COVID-19 scare will likely cause an overwhelming demand for hospital facilities and clinical resources, making it difficult to treat patients who need care the most,” said Ray Costantini, M.D., Bright.md CEO and co-founder. “Crowded emergency departments also raise the risk of spreading viruses—whether it’s COVID-19 or the common flu—to sick people at the facility, as well as to the larger community.”
To combat this potential threat, hospitals can add Bright.md’s free screening tool, based on its market-leading asynchronous virtual care delivery platform, SmartExam, to their websites. The online tool guides patients through a dynamically adaptive online medical interview, reviewing their symptoms and health history, as well as possible exposure to COVID-19. If the patient presents with a high-risk of COVID-19 infection, the software will direct the patient to the hospital’s appropriate venue for care, as well as provide education about the new virus. Patients determined not to have a high risk of COVID-19 will receive instructions for at-home care, also keeping them out of the emergency department. Bright.md’s rapid-response team will update the COVID-19 screening tool with all new CDC recommendations and guidelines as they become available.
Hospitals interested in adding Bright.md’s free virtual care tool should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Dedicated Bright.md team members will work with any U.S. hospital to be up and running with the screening tool within a week.
“When it comes to public health threats of this magnitude, we’re all in this together. And our hearts go out to those who have been impacted,” said Dr. Costantini. “Hospitals that have already implemented asynchronous digital health tools are well positioned to deal with the potential onslaught of patients presenting with COVID-19. For others that do not currently offer asynchronous telehealth, the negative community health impacts of overcrowded EDs could be devastating. Offering this free tool to hospitals is one small contribution Bright.md can make to assist health systems and the communities they support during this trying time for our country.”