Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is the use of technology to exchange medical information between providers. This innovative approach to patient care allows physicians to consult with one another without traveling to remote sites. Current and upcoming telehealth services at Children’s are outlined below.
In late 2013, Children’s Medical Center Dallas launched the Children’s Medical Center TeleNICU, Texas’ first dedicated neonatal telehealth service. The TeleNICU uses specialized equipment that allows expert neonatologists at Children’s to virtually examine newborns at distant-site NICUs. This service can minimize, or even eliminate, the need to transport babies who need a specialized level of care out of town and away from their family and support network.
Mobile telehealth carts
Children’s Medical Center Dallas is getting ready to embark on a new project with 26 Dallas-area schools that involves the use of mobile telehealth carts. The carts will allow for a virtual consultation with a Children’s physician when a child shows up in the nurse’s office with a complaint that is outside the nurse’s level of expertise (pre-registration in the program by the parent will be required).
Children’s Medical Center Dallas is in the process of implementing a program that will allow patients the opportunity to video chat with nurses at a call center.
Other telehealth initiatives
The following future telehealth initiatives are in the process of being developed:
- Hospital-to-hospital consultations
- Connecting to subspecialists from the Pediatric Group outpatient clinics
- Continuing medical education
- Education of nursing students
- Engaging rural patients in research initiatives
The VGo Robot, the newest technology aid that Children’s Health provides patients who are not able to physically attend school.