In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles County Fire Department has launched a new Telemedicine Program. This allows firefighters and paramedics to assist mildly-ill patients by having an advanced provider (nurse practitioner or nurse) evaluate patients via video (with the option to use three-way video with an emergency physician, as needed), preventing unneeded trips to the emergency room. The program connects patients who do not require emergency care with a provider who can assess the patient’s condition, provide a treatment plan, and even call in prescriptions to support the treatment plan. To date the program has diverted many patients who otherwise would have gone to an emergency department, keeping those beds available for those who really need them.
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