Littauer is First Hospital in the State to Offer Program to Improve Care for Victims of Sexual Assault through Telemedicine
GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. – February 14, 2019 – (Newswire.com)
United Concierge Medicine (UCM) and Nathan Littauer today announced a unique and innovative partnership to improve care for sexual assault victims called TeleSAFE.
Utilizing a unique approach to care and digital technology, the UCM-administered TeleSAFE program solves the problem of limited access to care for sexual assault victims in NYS by virtually connecting Emergency Department staff with a certified Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE). These SAFE-certified providers will then help guide ER staff through the process of the forensic exam. Launched Feb. 1, Nathan Littauer is the first hospital in the State to offer this innovative care model.
Laurence E. Kelly, President and CEO of Nathan Littauer Hospital said, “As a rural, independent hospital we always embrace new technology solutions to better serve our community. This new partnership will provide UCM’s innovative and customized virtual care to patients and support to staff, and provide even greater access to care while comforting victims of sexual assault. In the end, it is our patients – even those most vulnerable and in crisis – who will benefit from this partnership.”
This program is funded by a $300,000 grant from the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Division of Family Health and a $2.85 million grant funded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Both grants are being administered by the St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation.
United Concierge Medicine CEO Keith Algozzine said, “Access to SAFE providers is a public health crisis disproportionally impacting small and rural hospitals. No one should be denied timely care because the hospital has no SAFE-certified provider available. That’s why UCM is so excited to launch this program and serve the patients of Nathan Littauer. We hope all hospitals who do not have 24/7/365 SAFE providers available will partner with us to ensure victims of sexual assault receive the care they need.”
This program is an invaluable resource for rural and underserved areas throughout New York State (NYS), allowing them to comply with public health law to care for patients after sexual assault. The challenge for many hospitals, particularly in rural areas, is the lack of available SAFE providers. Regardless of the hospital to which a patient presents, he or she can now have access to a SAFE provider.
According to the New York State DOH website, there are only 45 SAFE certified hospitals in the State. A SAFE certified facility meets strict criteria for standards of care and provides coverage for victims of sexual assault 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Of those 45 hospitals, 27 are located in or around the New York City metropolitan area, leaving 18 facilities to provide care for the approximately 12 million people in the rest of New York.
However, through this unique pilot program, Nathan Littauer and 45 additional hospitals in the Capital Region and Central New York will now be able to virtually access SAFE-certified providers to properly treat victims. Importantly, 18 of these 46 hospitals are designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as critical access hospitals. These facilities receive this designation if they are more than 35-miles away from another hospital (among other criteria).
UCM’s Virtual ER provides 24/7 triage and treatment by a dedicated team of emergency medicine providers through modern digital tools, including phone, video, and picture. This unique approach to emergency medicine has provided patients with more immediate access to care in a customized and comfortable environment. In 2018, UCM used their experience as a provider of virtual emergency medicine to provide a wider net of care for victims of sexual assault, launching the TeleSAFE Program to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to any victim of sexual assault or abuse, regardless of the health care facility to which they present. To learn more about UCM’s TeleSAFE program, please visit www.TeleSAFE.org or www.unitedconciergemedicine.com.
About Nathan Littauer Hospital
Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home is an independent, full-service 74-bed acute care hospital system with on-campus dialysis, an 84-bed skilled nursing home and 10 primary care centers serving Upstate New York. Nathan Littauer provides safe, high-quality health and wellness services with a focus on securing appropriate new technologies in a rural setting. The hospital has nearly 1,000 employees covering a 50-mile footprint. Littauer’s medical staff provides well over 130,000 patient encounters each year. As we celebrate our 125th year of service, the hospital has expanded to offer health care that is comprehensive, accessible, and relevant to the needs of the communities we serve. In March of 2019, Nathan Littauer will open a newly built, state-of-the-art Primary Care Center in Broadalbin, NY. More information can be found by visiting www.nlh.org.
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