Sharing our wealth of knowledge
At Children’s Health℠, we extend the reach of our expertise beyond our walls to other hospitals, enhancing patient care and improving outcomes for patients across the state, the nation and around the world.
TeleNICU is a service for participating NICUs. For more information on how your hospital nursery or NICU can enroll for this service, please call Children's Hospital Outreach Services department at 214-456-7155.
Why Children's Health?
Children’s Health has pioneered the use of telemedicine for critically ill newborns in the region, a lifesaving innovation that will improve care for the sickest babies here and beyond. It’s the region’s leading provider of pediatric care for seriously ill newborns and infants transferred from other hospitals. Affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical institutions, it’s the only pediatric teaching and research hospital in North Texas.
At every point, your baby will be cared for by experts in neonatology, including during transport. Winner of the 2013 Association of Air Medical Services’ Neonatal and Pediatric Transport Award of Excellence, our advanced transport team members transfer more than 5400 neonatal, pediatric or high-risk obstetrical patients with life-threatening emergencies each year.
Ours was the first pediatric transport team in the United States to be certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) in all three modes of transportation: jet, helicopter, and ground ambulance, and it’s been consistently reaccredited for the past 15 years.
These are some of the reasons U.S. News & World Report ranks the Children’s Health neonatology program among the best in the nation.
Neonatal Telemedicine Service
Children’s Health has harnessed the power of technology to help extremely ill infants who were born or are being treated at other hospitals that aren’t fully able to meet their requirements. In response to a growing need for access to pediatric subspecialty care that only Children’s Health can provide, in 2013 we launched the Children’s Health TeleNICU, the state’s first dedicated neonatal telemedicine service.
The TeleNICU links the specially trained, board-certified UT Southwestern neonatologists on the medical staff at Children’s Health to physicians at other hospitals’ neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) to consult and guide the treatment of the sickest and most fragile children.
The service allows other hospitals that are not staffed or equipped to provide care for the most complex cases to offer the benefits Children’s Health provides its patients by having a Level IV NICU, a designation indicating that it meets the highest standard of care and capabilities set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
How it works
Using specialized equipment and secure broadband transmission, our dedicated neonatologists are able to communicate with doctors at other facilities in Texas, and beyond, 24/7. Using two-way, real-time interactive communication, they can virtually examine newborns at distant-site NICUs. Participating hospitals that have Level III NICU nurseries can connect with neonatologists at Children’s Health using a mobile equipment cart with medical-quality videoconferencing capabilities, secure data transfer, and digital equipment that permits diagnostic testing.
Our doctors are able to use specialized cameras to perform visual examinations and a high-tech stethoscope to listen to your baby’s heart, lungs and other vital organs. Although they may be far away, our doctors will be able to see and hear your baby as if they were in the same room. They can help interpret medical data and images and consult to help distant doctors confirm an accurate diagnosis and consult with them about a treatment plan.
By bringing Level IV interventional strategies to the patient, rather than having to bring the patient to our Level IV NICU, this high tech lifeline for newborns in crisis helps meet the goal of keeping an infant close to home while ensuring the best possible care. It’s always preferable to keep your baby close to your family and your support systems and to avoid the disruption of a medical transfer, both to you and your vulnerable infant.
If your baby is at a distant facility, this technology can allow advanced care to begin sooner and may prevent or delay the need for a transfer. Access to earlier expert treatment improves outcomes and may reduce the stress on you and your family while allowing you to receive family-centered care closer to home.
In addition to reducing the burden of stress, the TeleNICU can help you reduce the costs associated with unnecessary transfer, including those for lodging and transportation, so you can be near your baby. Furthermore, the technology lets you to be part of the care team, sitting in on teleconferencing and contributing to decision making.
The technology also allows doctors to determine if and when a transfer is necessary. If your baby does need to be transferred after being examined through the telemedicine service, you will be able to virtually meet the neonatologists who will care for your baby at Children’s Health, discuss the treatment plan with them and ask questions, all before the transfer takes place.
And when it’s time for the transfer, your baby will be in excellent hands. The Neonatal Transport Team at Children’s Health meets the highest standard of safety when transporting neonatal, pediatric and high-risk obstetrical patients from local facilities or hospitals in distant states or countries.