Neonatal specialists from UC San Diego Medical Center and Tri-City Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will soon be able to collaborate, diagnose and treat some of San Diego County’s tiniest, and most complicated babies through an innovative telemedicine program that connects. The program uses a real-time, two-way audio/video connection that allows most of the tiny patients to remain in the primary hospital without the need for Tri-City to transfer the tiny patients to another hospital. For those that require further care, the program provides coordinated care and a transfer to the NICU at UC San Diego Medical Center.

Hamid Movahhedian, MD, FAAP, Tri-City NICU Medical Director, chief, division of Neonatology, and vice chair of Pediatrics explains:

“This partnership allows us to produce a faster diagnosis and better chance for our hospital’s youngest and most vulnerable patients to continue to be cared for close to home and loved ones.”

Neil Finer, MD, director of Neonatal Medicine at UC San Diego Health System says:

“In addition to allowing earlier diagnoses, we will be able to use this program in a host of ongoing educational programs, and support UC San Diego Health System’s and Tri-City Medical Center’s goal of continuously improving the overall quality of patient care. We look forward to a close and productive working relationship with Tri-City Medical Center.”

Physicians, nursing staff and other health care professionals in the San Diego area can for the first time use this novel telemedicine program to jointly participate in offering patients and their family the latest in advanced care, in addition to learning several diagnoses directly through participation in the live video stream.

In-house specialists and specialty departments together with interested partners in the county, state, national and world-wide health care community who require subspecialty consultative care have discussed the UC San Diego’s enterprise-wide telemedicine program since 2009. One of the program’s main features is that its deployments strategies, core workflow and checklists can be integrated into most UC San Diego department’s clinical strategic plans.

Brett C. Meyer, MD, medical director of UC San Diego’s enterprise-wide Telemedicine Program announces:

“The power of telemedicine is extraordinary, allowing our NICU specialists to be available at a moment’s notice to help provide expert care for these smallest and most fragile of patients. We are ecstatic to be part of the solution for such a critical care need. When a complex case arises our partners at Tri-City can request a consult and can contact us using the camera system. Our specialists can not only contribute to the care, but with telemedicine they are, in essence, virtually present in the room with the patient to render assistance.”

Written by Petra Rattue