A Midwest partnership between Cincinnati Children’s and Parkview Health brings specialized pediatric care to Indiana via telehealth. Starting in August, Fort Wayne’s Parkview Regional Medical Center will virtually connect its clinicians with Cincinnati Children’s physicians for pediatric neurosurgery, rheumatology, and epilepsy consultations. This collaboration aims to improve local healthcare access, reduce travel for families, and foster knowledge exchange. The initiative reflects a growing trend in telehealth-driven pediatric specialty care to bridge regional healthcare disparities.
A new initiative is set to revolutionize pediatric specialty care in the Midwest, as healthcare providers from Indiana and Ohio join forces through telehealth technology. This partnership aims to enhance medical services for children by allowing clinicians in Indiana to connect remotely with physicians in Ohio, specifically focusing on pediatric neurosurgery, rheumatology, and drug-resistant epilepsy consultations.
The collaborative effort involves Cincinnati Children’s, an Ohio-based institution, teaming up with Parkview Health to establish telehealth clinics that will effectively broaden the availability of healthcare services for children in need. Starting this August, telehealth clinics will be operational, linking healthcare professionals at Fort Wayne’s Parkview Regional Medical Center with specialized physicians at Cincinnati Children’s. These virtual consultations will cater to children from northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio who are undergoing outpatient care at Parkview Regional. This novel approach will eliminate the necessity for families to travel for specialized pediatric care, significantly benefiting the local community.
Dr. Tom Miller, the Physician Executive for the Women and Children’s service line at Parkview Health, stated, “Our collaboration is patient-centered and will increase access to Cincinnati Children’s specialty care for Fort Wayne area families. This could reduce or even eliminate the need for travel to receive specialized pediatric care. For patients who require care at Cincinnati Children’s, a coordinated approach for referrals and local follow-up appointments will streamline the experiences of these families.”
This groundbreaking collaboration builds upon a partnership initiated in 2018 between Parkview Health and Cincinnati Children’s. The initial focus of this telehealth collaboration was to enhance expertise in pediatric cardiology, gastroenterology, and general surgery.
In this new venture, both organizations will not only facilitate telehealth consultations but also exchange best practices, treatment protocols, and knowledge to improve the overall quality of care provided. As part of the collaboration, teams from each institution will also spend time at each other’s campuses to facilitate the expansion of specialty care delivery. Future plans involve the incorporation of additional medical specialties into their collaboration via a virtual care center.
The expansion of telehealth services in the pediatric realm comes as a response to the challenge of ensuring healthcare accessibility in rural and underserved regions. Several other healthcare provider organizations have recently embraced telehealth to extend specialized pediatric care. For instance, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital initiated a telehealth-based neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) neurology program, allowing remote monitoring and treatment recommendations for NICUs in multiple locations.
Moreover, San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico, established a telehealth partnership with Presbyterian Hospital’s NICU team to improve access to neonatal intensive and higher-acuity care for newborns in the area. This collaboration enables clinicians to engage in virtual consultations and continuous medical education.
Although the utilization of pediatric specialty telehealth varies across different subspecialties, this innovative approach is poised to bridge gaps in knowledge, experience, and access to care. Through such collaborations, healthcare providers are working diligently to ensure that children in need receive the highest level of care, regardless of their geographical location.