County’s employees can consult doctor via high-tech kiosk

Associated Press


County government employees in Cleveland can now consult a doctor face-to-face about some medical concerns without having to take off work to go to a doctor’s office or an urgent-care facility or emergency room.

Cuyahoga County says its employees can step into a high-tech kiosk manned remotely by a MetroHealth Medical Center doctor via computer screen. The kiosk, called a HealthSpot Station, began operating in the Cuyahoga County Justice Center last week.

County employees will be able to use the kiosk to see a doctor for conditions such as fevers or sore throats that might otherwise cause them to leave work, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported.

Doctors also can write prescriptions remotely via the kiosk.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said the county is committed to promoting good health.

“Health improvement is a critical component of our countywide efforts, as well as our internal efforts, to increase productivity and performance,” FitzGerald said in a release.

The kiosk is a private 9-by-7-foot portable office, with a chair, a desktop with a touch screen and a video screen that allows patients to talk to a doctor who may be miles away.

The doctor assigned to the kiosk will help patients use the built-in stethoscope, thermometer, blood pressure cuff, scale and other devices.

They will also be instructed how to sanitize the office for use by the next patient.

Steve Cashman, CEO of the Dublin-based HealthSpot Inc., created the kiosk designed by Nottingham Spirk, a Cleveland innovation firm.

HealthSpot Inc. says Cuyahoga County is the first public entity to use the station its employees, but there are five other stations in the Cleveland area and 10 across the state.

The company plans to roll out more stations in Ohio, HealthSpot spokeswoman Alexandra Crabb said.

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital tested one station at University Hospitals Medical Center in Beachwood and plans to open one next month at a community center on the city’s east side.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus announced a 6-month pilot program to test four HealthSpot kiosks around that city with the goal of eventually using them in rural communities.

The Justice Center kiosk is open to any county employee regardless of individual insurance.

A visit to a doctor through the kiosk will create a medical record which can be forwarded to a patient’s primary care doctor or used for a referral.

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