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Virtual Visits Help the Planet Stay Green

Since March 2020, CommonSpirit has conducted more than 2 million telehealth visits, translating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20,000 metric tons.

CommonSpirit Health is committed to innovation and providing access to care that meets patients’ needs – where, when, and how they want to be seen and virtual care is an excellent example of this innovation in action. Not only are they a convenient way for patients to stay connected with their providers, but they also come with an added benefit to the environment.  

Since March 2020, CommonSpirit Health Physician Enterprise doctors and Advanced Practice Providers across our 21 state footprint have conducted more than two million telehealth visits with patients. This number translates to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20,000 metric tons which is equivalent to more than 24,000 acres of forest saved.

In addition, by receiving care conveniently through their computers or mobile devices, CommonSpirit Health patients saved patients an estimated $5.4 million in gas expenses and an estimated 1.2 million hours of their time because they didn’t have to travel to their appointment.

“We’re proud of the increasingly positive impact that virtual visits have on our carbon footprint at CommonSpirit Health,” said Sister Mary Ellen Leciejewski, System Vice President for Environmental Sustainability, CommonSpirit Health. “Virtual visits are an important part of our sustainability efforts. We know it’s important to take care of our planet in addition to caring for our patients and communities.” 

Not only are virtual visits green and sustainable, but they’re also a significant part of how CommonSpirit will continue to accelerate our digital front door and innovate around how our patients receive care. 

“The future of virtual care is bright and we will continue to innovate around how our patients engage with us outside of our clinic and hospital spaces,” said Dr. Marijka Grey, System Vice President for Transformation Implementation, CommonSpirit Health. “Whether it is on-demand or digital screenings, virtual will play a key part in how we evolve new standards of care in a way that is clinically led and technologically enabled.”

Key to the virtual experience is digital connectivity and having the right technology in place in order to deliver a seamless experience. The CommonSpirit IT and Digital team continues to invest resources in partnership with Physician Enterprise to build out digital capabilities and support the continued evolution of digital care. 

“We remain focused on building out our digital capabilities and infrastructure in a way that enhances and supports the patient-provider connection during their virtual visit and enables innovations around asynchronous and on-demand care opportunities in the future,” said Neil Gomes, System SVP for Digital and Human Experiences, CommonSpirit Health.