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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Emergency Pediatric Telemedicine Now Available at Cole

Emergency Pediatric Telemedicine Now Available at Cole

When a child requires emergent health care, Cole Memorial’s pediatricians and emergency medicine providers deliver immediate attention while consulting with clinical specialists at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) via new state-of-the-art telemedicine technology.

“Last month, Cole Memorial launched pediatric emergency telemedicine in the emergency department and the maternity unit, thanks to the Optimizing Utilization and Rural Emergency Access for Children (OUTREACH) program by UPMC,” said Ann Slotta, RN, director of maternal/child and inpatient behavioral health services at Cole Memorial. “The telemedicine unit is portable so it can be used in the emergency department (E.D.) or in the newborn nursery at the Hospital, allowing our providers to collaborate with pediatric specialists in Pittsburgh.”

Telemedicine offers two-way audio/video conferencing applications to provide high-level clinical consultations between a Cole Memorial provider and a specialist at a distance. Cole Memorial is leading the way in the development of telemedicine services for cardiology, neurology and rheumatology, in addition to this new pediatric tele-emergency department services and the tele-neonatal intensive care unit.

According to Shannon Work, RN, director of Emergency Services at Cole Memorial, 18% of the patients that visit the E.D. are age 18 and under. So far, the benefits of Cole’s pediatric emergency telemedicine service include:

Patients and their family travel less to receive specialized care

The need for hospital admissions may be reduced

When higher-level care or a special procedure is required, transfers may be made immediately
Expert care is available 24/7

Patients, their family members, Coles’ providers and staff express an increase in satisfaction with the outcomes

Cole Memorial’s Pediatrician Marlene Wust-Smith, MD stated, “The first pediatric tele-emergency patient visit earlier this month allowed our patient to be evaluated by an Emergency Room provider at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, who agreed with me that he was stable for discharge to his own home. Our patient was relieved to not have to travel four and a half hours to Pittsburgh, and I was reassured that his presenting complaint did not require further work-up.”

In addition, the following tele-medicine services are available at Cole Memorial with expert clinical partners such as: Rheumatology with the Geisinger Health System and Cardiology and Neurology with UPMC Hamot Heart and Vascular Institute.

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