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As you intimately know, Florida’s healthcare delivery system is feeling the burden and urgency/emergency of another heavy wave of COVID. During the last pandemic a federal emergency telehealth system was created to alleviate that burden. It’s called the National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network. It’s free for ALL healthcare facilities and EMS agencies to use as needed; your healthcare organization can ask to use it right away and then use it rapidly after you ask. There are nurses, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists that you can work with immediately for free — even without a Declaration of Emergency in Florida. When there is a Declaration of Emergency, you may also use a variety of physician specialists or intensivists. If physician specialists or intensivists are needed in the absence of a declared Public Health Emergency, the system can be used with in-state physicians.

Set up is nearly instant and you only need a smartphone and 4G to operate it. I’ve attached a NETCCN one-pager and slides that the Science Director of the US Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology will be presenting about NETCCN at HIMSS21 next week.

Steps to request and use NETCCN (can be done by Medical Director or ANY healthcare organization decision-maker):

  1. Go to www.tatrc.org/netccn and complete a “customer survey”
  2. NETCCN Operations team will contact you
  3. NETCCN Operations will connect you with a NETCCN team
  4. NETCCN team will initiate preparation to support. Credentialing, training is done in hours — not weeks
  5. NETCCN support will continue for a defined period of time and continue based on agreed upon criteria

NETCCN is approved for the following emergency uses (this list not exhaustive:

Outpatient and ED

  • Home monitoring for patients triaged for discharge from the ED, with or without oxygen
  • Monitoring of individuals immediately after vaccination
  • Monitoring of patients receiving monoclonal antibody infusions
  • Supporting EMS community paramedic programs (virtual house calls)

Inpatient/not ICU

  • Virtual assessment and decision- making for Rapid Response Team calls.
  • Provision of care for patients awaiting ICU in the ED or other hospital units

ICU

  • Supporting Physician/RN/RT/Pharmacy
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