Telemed visits to the ER? Yes, via Clara

A look at what one might see during a telemed ER visit @ Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville. Dan Della Piazza photo

Telemedicine surely became popular during the pandemic, but now, Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville is taking it all one step further by offering — get this — a telemedicine-style emergency room.

Yup, it’s true.

The hospital is introducing a new way to access emergency care with the hospital’s Telehealth Emergency Department. Patients may be quickly seen virtually by a board-certified emergency care provider on their smartphone, tablet or computer through the scan of a QR code or the click of a link, thereby reducing wait times and providing guidance if an in-person ER visit is required.

“Visiting the emergency department can be difficult or stressful for many individuals. Clara Maass Medical Center is proud to launch our new Telehealth ED program to provide patients quick and easy access to the care they need from anywhere and to help streamline the process of visiting the ED when in-person care is needed,” Mary Ellen Clyne, president and chief executive officer of Clara Maas Medical Center, said.

The program, which is being piloted for the entire RWJBarnabas Health system, was created based on the system’s assessment of community needs and offers easier access to the ED. Telehealth ED patients are greeted, assessed and swiftly connected with a healthcare provider via a full telehealth video service which allows the provider to examine a patient or injury and make an informed recommendation.

A screenshot of the opening ER telemed screen.

The same provider they originally connect with for enhanced continuity of care often sees patients who require an in-person ER visit.

“The Telehealth Emergency Department is a convenient way for our community to have easier access to emergency services at Clara Maass Medical Center,” Donna DeVita, director of the Emergency Department at Clara Maass Medical Center, said. “In moments when patients have important health-related questions, we are available to help the community solve problems via a telehealth assessment from the comfort of their home or other location.”

The Telehealth ED is open to anyone and is particularly helpful for patients who question whether they need to go to the ER and may validate their need to visit the hospital, or providers may identify problems that may be addressed over telehealth.

It is also a helpful resource for patients who visit the ER frequently, including those with a chronic illness or who have a medical device. The Telehealth ER may also be used by Emergency Medical Services personnel if a patient on an emergency call has questions or if a patient needs further care.

“The Emergency Department is the safety net for the community,” John Fontanetta, chairmain of Emergency Medicine at Clara Maass Medical Center, said. “People don’t only get sick during weekdays from 9 to 5. We’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide services and now we can offer those services in a way that patients care access from anywhere.”

To connect with the CMMC Telehealth Emergency Department from a smartphone, tablet or computer visit:

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.