Computers on carts are rolling in a new era of telehealth – literally. Over the past several months, Comprehensive Healthcare has partnered with 12 hospitals and county jails to install secure, user-friendly mobile devices that provide immediate access to crisis behavioral health services at sites across Central Washington.
“With just two clicks of a mouse, a patient experiencing a behavioral health crisis in the emergency department, or a community member in jail can speak with a Designated Crisis Responder (DCR) immediately,” said Ian Boyer, senior director of information services at Comprehensive Healthcare. “This virtual connection is especially critical in the winter months, when hazardous driving conditions can delay travel times for DCRs, and to help us more readily access rural communities year-round.”
The computers on carts, known by the technical term of DX80, run on a secure, HIPAA-compliant Cisco platform – providing phone and video chat access from a safe and protected platform. DX80s aren’t exclusive to Comprehensive Healthcare. In fact, a key benefit is that one DX80 can connect to any other, meaning expanded access for individuals to speak with providers at any other site that has the device.
Implementation is simple, quick and affordable; it can be installed in under an hour. Since Comprehensive Healthcare has secured grant funding and handles all aspects of implementation and set-up, any healthcare or law enforcement partner can easily participate without needing to complete additional work, with the exception of finding a place to store the cart.
“The Acute Care Services team was able to successfully use the DX80 in the Astria Sunnyside Hospital emergency department. The picture and sound worked exactly as expected,” said Crystal Shipley, a DCR and the acute care services team leader in Yakima. “We appreciate the support to make this a success, and we are very excited to have this option to improve our service to Sunnyside!”
Early data shows strong adoption. Within the 12 current locations, clients accessed Comprehensive Healthcare’s emergency services over 100 times during November and December of 2020.