UPMC, a healthcare service system based in Pittsburg, CA, has created a new telemedicine-based company designed to assist healthcare centers to address the nationwide dearth of physicians specializing in infectious diseases. Named as Infectious Disease (ID) Connect, the new telemedicine company aimed at advancing outcomes while lessening transfers and keeping patients in their own communities for a cure.
Chief Medical Officer for ID Connect, Rima Abdel-Massih said that “With the growing threat of drug-resistant organisms and costly government penalties for health care-associated infections, it has never been more critical for hospitals to properly diagnose, treat and prevent such infections.” According to her, “However, with ID specialists in short supply, many hospitals, especially smaller, community facilities, are struggling to meet this need. ID Connect was created to fill that gap.” For the past 5 years, UPMC has already been offering ID services to patients through telemedicine. Currently, ID Connect is serving 10 UPMC and 5 non-UPMC healthcare organizations in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Moreover, it will initially focus on over 4,000 U.S. acute care hospitals with fewer than 300 beds.
According to the announcement, ID Connect president David Zynn noted that the new telemedicine-enabled company will originally be staffed by UPMC ID physicians, where it’s planning to expand to new markets and appoint additional doctors to make available patient consultations and expertise in antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control. In due course, Zynn expects that the company will serve post-acute care patients at home. Eventually, ID Connect is designed to improve patient outcomes, lessen patient transfers to tertiary facilities, get rid of inaccurate diagnoses and treatment, and reducing readmissions.