NYC Health + Hospitals Launches Virtual Expresscare Services, Further Ensuring New Yorkers Have Convenient, One-Click Access to the Most Appropriate Care Where They're Safest
New Yorkers in need of non-emergency urgent care can connect to a provider in 200+ languages for an evaluation by going to expresscare.nyc on any device with a camera. System's virtual ExpressCare launch builds on the public health system's recent expansion of telemedicine offerings.
Sep 22, 2020
NYC Health + Hospital today announced the launch of virtual ExpressCare services, further ensuring New Yorkers have convenient one-click access to the most appropriate level of care where they’re safest during the COVID-19 pandemic – at home. The City’s public health system’s new ExpressCare telehealth solution offers a much simpler way to access high-quality, affordable video-based virtual care with the availability of on-screen interpreters in over 200 languages, including American Sign Language. New Yorkers in need of urgent care for non-life-threatening health issues can connect to a NYC Health + Hospitals emergency medicine provider for an evaluation within minutes. To access the service, patients can go to expresscare.nyc from any web browser on their computer, phone, or tablet device with a camera. No apps, downloads, or plug-ins are needed, and patients can select an audio-only option. Virtual ExpressCare hours are seven days a week, 9AM-9PM. Given the ongoing threat of COVID-19 during flu season, virtual ExpressCare will help further prevent the spread of infection, while ensuring that patients do not delay seeking necessary medical care. NYC Health + Hospitals’ virtual ExpressCare launch builds on the public health system’s recent expansion of telemedicine services to all New Yorkers, without exception.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons, including emphasizing the incredible resource and tool that telemedicine brings patients to seek the health care they need in the safest setting,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President & CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “NYC Health + Hospitals will continue to find ways to break down barriers to care and telehealth for all New Yorkers and become more efficient in how healthcare is delivered across the city.”
“Given the continued threat of COVID-19 during the upcoming flu season, virtual ExpressCare will help prevent the spread of infection, while ensuring that our patients do not delay seeking necessary medical care,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Eric Wei, MD, MBA. “Our public health system will continue to create pathways to care for all New Yorkers and make sure families and communities have the access to the right level of care from where it’s safest during this pandemic.”
Once in video or connected via audio, virtual ExpressCare patients are greeted by a NYC Health + Hospitals support hero for registration. An emergency medicine provider then enters the visit by way of a warm handoff and continues the clinical evaluation, coordinating further care, and prescribing necessary medications to a patient’s pharmacy of choice. Following the clinical visit, NYC Health + Hospitals will help patients engage in continuous primary care, as well as with other services, including enrollment in health insurance or NYC Care. Details from the visit and follow-up care plan can be accessed through a patient’s MyChart electronic profile.
The average wait to be connected to care is approximately five minutes and a virtual ExpressCare visit will take about 10 minutes. Common, non-emergency symptoms and health issues that can be treated by virtual ExpressCare include flu, cold, COVID-19, sinus infections, allergies, minor cuts and burns, upset stomachs, and sexually transmitted diseases.
“Telemedicine is helping patients access critical services safely during the pandemic,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried. “This important expansion of the ExpressCare program will connect more patients with timely care and I commend NYC Health + Hospitals, especially for providing comprehensive language access including American Sign Language so that all New Yorkers can benefit from the program.”
NYC Health + Hospitals’ new Virtual ExpressCare offering is powered by Bluestream Health, a leading virtual care technology provider based in New York City.
“We founded Bluestream Health with the vision of helping healthcare providers deliver seamless access to care to every patient, across the care continuum,” said Bluestream Health President and Co-founder Brian Yarnell. “As a company that is based in New York and founded by New Yorkers, we couldn’t be prouder and more excited that NYC Health + Hospitals has partnered with us to help deliver on the promise of better healthcare for the residents of New York through broad access to virtual care.”
The City’s public hospital system quickly scaled up its telemedicine services during the COVID-19 surge in a number of areas. The system went from just 500 billable primary and specialty care virtual visits in the month prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to nearly 57,000 in the first three weeks of the pandemic, and has now completed over 600,000 televisits to-date. Meanwhile, the health system handled more than 13,000 patient messages over the same surge period via its patient portal, which allows patients to directly communicate with their care teams.
Walk-in urgent care visits are also available at these NYC Health + Hospitals locations:
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
79-01 Broadway, Rm. A1-18
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Monday-Sunday 3:30PM –12AM
NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
82-68 164th Street
Jamaica, NY 11432
Monday-Friday 4PM – 12AM
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
234 E. 149th Street
Ambulatory Care Pavilion
Bronx, NY 10451