Washington hospital implements telemedicine program for critical care pediatric patients

Walla Walla, Wash.-based Providence St. Mary Medical Center launched an emergency telemedicine program for pediatric patients after receiving a financial donation and letter from a local family of a child who previously needed emergency medical care, KNDO, an NBC affiliate, reports.

The new program will implement virtual visits with specialists such as neonatologists or pediatric interventionists so patients in Walla Walla can receive care without being transferred to a different hospital. The telemedicine specialists will also provide care and guidance for patients who cannot immediately be airlifted.

Providence St. Mary Medical Center implemented the new telemedicine program after a family in Walla Walla sent the hospital a letter suggesting a telemedicine solution for infants and children experiencing medical emergencies. The parents of the family cited its own experience with having an ill child who needed to be airlifted out for specialized care.

"This supports the care the child needs," Providence St. Mary CMO Christopher Hall, MD, said, according to the report. "It also supports the pediatricians here. The pediatricians in Walla Walla operate at a very high level, but there are very complex, sometimes rare, conditions that require specialists, such as a baby born with an unusual abnormality."

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