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Telemedicine launches in Northwest Community Hospital's Pediatric Emergency Department

Less transfers, improved healthcare in the community

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) has added telemedicine to its Pediatric Emergency Department with a Phase II plan to add it to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This expands on the current partnership with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, in which pediatric specialists work with the NCH care team to help diagnose and treat patients by staffing specialists there from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. NCH’s Pediatric Emergency Department is the first hospital in the Chicagoland area to utilize telemedicine technology with Lurie Children’s.

“I think telemedicine is going to be more a part of our lives in the future,” said NCH Director of Women’s and Children’s Services & Pediatric Emergency Department Don Houchins. “This is another service our doctors can take advantage of.”

NCH now has access to Lurie Children’s Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine for face-to-face consultations and sub-specialty access 24/7. Whether it’s a strange rash or a traumatic brain injury, patients can be diagnosed and/or treated to ensure expedited care by Lurie Children’s pediatric specialists collaborating with the NCH care team.

“The goal is to keep pediatric patients in their own community surrounded by family and friends so that they can heal better,” Katie Bohling, title, said. “Telemedicine offers a unique opportunity to meet the goal by providing access to Lurie Children’s specialists in real-time.”

Direct dial happens right from the telemedicine cart with calls going through within 10 seconds and consultation happening within 15 minutes. The technology allows more pediatric patients to be treated at NCH rather than transported to the city, oftentimes separated from their parents.

For three years, NCH has been connecting stroke patients with neurologists at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago through the NCH Telestroke Program.

About Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)

Serving Chicago’s northwest suburbs since 1959, Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) is an independent healthcare system dedicated to serving the community. Its comprehensive, patient-centered system of care has locations throughout Chicago’s northwest suburbs. It serves more than 350,000 outpatients and more than 20,000 inpatients treated annually at its 489-bed acute care hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois. It is home to a Level III NICU, Level II Trauma Center and a dedicated pediatric emergency department. The award-winning hospital holds the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence, is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval in 2015.

NCH has a medical staff of more than 1,200 physicians. All 20 locations of NCH Medical Group are staffed with board-certified primary and specialty care physicians. In addition, four NCH Immediate Care Centers and NCH Virtual Health provide access to care when and how people need it.

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