Member Spotlight: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Transport Team
Lurie Children's Hospital Transport Team Communication Center acts as the entry point for over 5,000 transfers annually into the free-standing Children's hospital in downtown Chicago. In addition to acting as the entry point for transfers, the Communication Center triage RN is the entry point for requests for telemedicine consults from physicians in the community. Emergency Care Connect, Lurie Children's Emergency Department (ED) based Telemedicine Program, provides a means to connect children in the community with the care they need, when they need it. It provides a means to connect with the expertise of top specialists at Lurie Children's.
The Communication Center RN takes basic information from the referring hospital: name, date of birth, weight, diagnosis, physician name, and call back number. The referring hospital is asked to log onto the telemedicine program, Polycom, and prepare for the telemedicine consult. High resolution telemedicine carts are rolled to the patient's bedside. The program provides a secure, HIPAA compliant transfer of information that improves care for children in the community and often prevents unnecessary transfers.
Insurance and demographic information is faxed to the Lurie Communication Center, now co-located with the Telehealth Coordinator. The Telehealth Coordinator enters the necessary patient information into EPIC and adds the patient to the ED Track Board.
To initiate the consult, the Communication Center RN sends text notification to the Lurie ED Attending. Expected turnaround time for a consult is 15 minutes during the hours of 1100-2300 and 30 minutes during the hours of 2300-1100.
The ED Attending logs onto the telehealth software in a private work space and connects with the referring physician, patient, and family.
Once the consultation is completed, the ED attending provides follow up to the Communication Center to notify them of the patient's disposition.
There are currently 4 hospitals enrolled in the program with additional sites to be added over the next six to eight months. Of the consults to date, 3 patients were able to be treated locally, 1 discharged home, and 1 transferred to Lurie Children's after consultation.
Lurie Children's Telemedicine Program was recently awarded funds through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Through this fund and those matched by the organization, they will provide support to 23 rural and critical access hospitals throughout the state of Illinois. The program will support the identification of and disposition to the nearest destination hospital for each child- Iowa, Missouri, Indiana or Illinois as clinically indicated.
Emergency Care Connect eliminates distance as a barrier to pediatric expertise. It allows for each child to get the right care closer to home, decreasing healthcare costs overall. Additionally, the program provides the platform to educate caregivers, parents, and patients enhancing the value of the program and care provided.