Telemedicine brings advanced pediatric care to Gundersen Tri-County ED
Doug Moericke, PA-C, Gundersen Tri-County Emergency Department
Critically ill children can pose special challenges when they arrive at your hospital, but the Pediatric Critical Care Telemedicine program at Gundersen Health System is providing a necessary layer of support.
The innovative program provides Tri-state area hospitals with immediate access—day or night—to Gundersen's pediatric intensivists and enhances Gundersen's existing telephone consultation service called MedLink.
Doug Moericke, PA-C, Emergency Department, and his staff at Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics, have used the Pediatric Critical Care Telemedicine program.
"In one case, we facilitated a smooth transfer of an infant with respiratory distress to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Gundersen. In another case, we were able to stabilize and send the child home," states Doug.
Consulting with a pediatric intensivist, who deals with these types of cases daily, has been a tremendous help, according to Doug, who has worked in rural medicine for the length of his career. "Things are much more at ease in the ED when a pediatric intensivist is available in real time. You can almost hear and feel a sigh of relief with their extra set of eyes as we are dealing with the patient," he says.
Mark Neumann, MD, Gundersen Health System
Mark Neumann, MD, medical director of Gundersen's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, shares, "Our goal is to help keep children and their families in their hometown hospitals, whenever possible, by bringing expanded services to them. We've found that the telemedicine service allows our pediatricians to more effectively participate in the assessment of a child's illness and formulate a follow-up care plan in conjunction with the regional provider and the child's family."
Gundersen's Pediatric Critical Care Telemedicine aids in the evaluation of children with medical complexity who are presenting with new acute symptoms. This includes patients with medical, metabolic, neuromuscular and/or genetic conditions that augment the complexity of their healthcare plans.
"The addition of this program is a big step forward in providing comprehensive emergency services to the Whitehall community. We couldn't do it without our local EMS, Lab and Radiology staff, as well as our nurses who are well-versed and operate the telemedicine equipment," states Doug.
Pediatric Critical Care Telemedicine is available for consultation of children from any health system, not just Gundersen patients. To consult a pediatric intensivist or to arrange a transport, call MedLink at (800) 336-5465.
To learn about setting up a telemedicine program in your facility, contact Jessica Miller in the Department of Regional Services and Telemedicine, at (608) 775-3031 or Kimberly Hable, RN, at (608) 799-6548.
Telemedicine services at Gundersen
Pediatric Critical Care Telemedicine expands upon Gundersen's already comprehensive telemedicine services throughout the region, including:
- NeoNET, newborn emergency telemedicine with Gundersen's neonatologists
- TeleStroke, stroke telemedicine with Gundersen's Primary Stroke Center specialists
- An array of specialists providing non-emergent consultations and office visits