Delivering OnDemand Urgent Care

NewYork-Presbyterian's new telemedicine collaboration with Walgreens expands access to high-quality healthcare.

A woman using a telemedicine kiosk to speak with a healthcare provider
A woman using a telemedicine kiosk to speak with a healthcare provider

The next time a sore throat strikes, you won’t have to cross your fingers while you call your primary care doctor, hoping for an opening in her schedule.

Instead, you can head to a self-service telemedicine kiosk at select Duane Reade stores to be virtually seen by a board-certified emergency medicine physician, thanks to a new collaboration between Walgreens and NewYork-Presbyterian.

The first kiosk opened December 11 at 40 Wall St. in Manhattan, with more sites expected to open next year. Like the first one, they will be housed in a private, secure room inside the store, offering instant examination, diagnosis, and treatment of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries such as sore throat, allergies, rash, pinkeye, abdominal pain, asthma, colds or flu, dizziness, fever, and sprains through NYP OnDemand Urgent Care (see a full list of conditions here), part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s telemedicine services.

“We are delighted to work with Walgreens to bring NewYork-Presbyterian’s world-class care right to your neighborhood drugstore with this exciting new platform,” says Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “Patients can expect to receive focused, one-on-one care from leading physicians, where and when they need it. We believe telemedicine has a critical role to play in expanding access to high-quality care, and we are proud to be at the forefront of digital healthcare delivery.”

“We believe telemedicine has a critical role to play in expanding access to high-quality care.”

— Dr. Steven J. Corwin

Patients can reach doctors with the touch of a button; exams are performed through a high-definition, videoconference connection. The kiosk experience is further enhanced with medical devices to provide key information to the physician. These include a thermometer that measures temperature with a gentle swipe of the forehead; a cuff to measure blood pressure; and a pulse oximeter that measures the oxygen in your blood. A dermascope, which allows a high-resolution view of skin conditions, is also available.

The examination likely will take 10 to 20 minutes, but will vary depending on the patient’s needs. A prescription can be instantly sent to the patient’s preferred pharmacy. Currently, care is offered from physicians at Weill Cornell Medicine. Pediatric emergency medicine physicians also will be available during more limited hours, and physicians from ColumbiaDoctors are expected to participate in early 2018.

“These kiosks provide real-time care for our patients, enabling them to consult Weill Cornell Medicine physicians privately through the convenience of their local drugstores,” says Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine. “We are proud to work with NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens to extend the reach of our doctors beyond their offices, making healthcare accessible to patients across the city.”

Telemedicine is a growing focus for the hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) Telehealth Express Care Service, launched in July 2016, is transforming the emergency care experience for patients and doctors alike, drastically reducing wait times and stress without sacrificing quality. Similar to the kiosk experience, patients go through triage, where a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner performs a medical screening exam. Those who are judged to be in stable condition with no life-threatening injuries or symptoms are given the option of seeing an emergency room physician via a videoconference in a private room. Since its launch, more than 4,500 patients have used this service, which is offered at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.

NewYork-Presbyterian offers a suite of additional digital health services for patients and providers. These services, in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine and ColumbiaDoctors, include second opinions from expert physicians; virtual visits; and digital consultations between physicians across NewYork-Presbyterian’s hospitals.

In addition to the in-store kiosk service, Walgreens customers in the New York area using the Walgreens website can access NYP OnDemand Urgent Care to video chat with board-certified emergency medicine doctors.

“We believe that telemedicine can play a critical role in connecting patients with providers,” says Greg Orr, divisional vice president of digital health for Walgreens. “We can now help to bring awareness of services that are offered locally by trusted providers such as NewYork-Presbyterian. We are pleased that NewYork-Presbyterian will be the first local healthcare provider to collaborate with us on our evolving telehealth and digital strategy.”

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