Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) have formed a new clinical affiliation aimed at optimizing care for severely sick or injured children in Southwest Florida. The goal is to help keep children and their families as close to home as possible while offering excellent care.
This affiliation provides enhanced access to physicians and services at Miami Children’s Hospital, one of the leading pediatric hospitals in the U.S., with a 650- member medical staff that includes experts in virtually every pediatric subspecialty.
“We look forward to working more closely with Miami Children’s Hospital and building a relationship that will provide a comprehensive network of care for our patients,” explained Kathy Bridge- Liles, chief administrative officer of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “We’re using an innovative approach to care delivery that manages costs by reducing the inconveniences and expense of travel.
“We’re also sharing protocols to streamline care and avoid duplicate testing and procedures so that when transport is necessary the transition and coordination of care are more cohesive and the patient receives treatment faster,” she added.
As part of the collaboration, Golisano Children’s Hospital and Miami Children’s Hospital have developed a streamlined process so that children requiring advanced care at Miami Children’s are transported with optimal efficiency via Miami Children’s LifeFlight Critical Care Transport Team, which includes ground and air transport, staffed by pediatric critical care experts.
“Miami Children’s Hospital is pleased to collaborate with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida,” said Martha McGill, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Miami Children’s. “Our organizations share a commitment to ensuring the best possible care in the most appropriate setting for children with specialized care needs. We are committed to using technology to enhance collaborative assessment and convenience for families in Southwest Florida.”
Both hospitals will follow many of the same protocols moving forward so that tests are not replicated and children can return to Golisano Children’s Hospital once they are in stable condition. Having children closer to home eases some of the burden and stress on the family. Previously, patients remained in Miami until discharged.
The clinical affiliation gives Golisano Children’s Hospital access to premier pediatric neurosurgeons, cardiac surgeons, and urologists currently not available in Southwest Florida, which may help prevent children from being transferred to other facilities and enable them to receive specialized medical care in our community.
Pediatric subspecialists at Golisano Children’s Hospital also will have access to MCH subspecialists, such as hematologist/ oncologists, cardiologists and neurologists, for an advanced level of collaborative patient care. The children’s hospitals are working on incorporating telehealth into the subspecialty consultations and a new mobile robot has been purchased by Golisano Children’s Hospital to support telemedicine services in the future.
Pediatric neurosurgeons from Miami Children’s Hospital already have joined the Golisano medical staff and a phone line has been established specifically to access the on-call neurosurgeon in Miami on a 24/7 basis.
“Telehealth services enable our doctors to consult with specialists in Miami as if we they were with us in the same room,” says Emad Salman, M.D., medical director for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. “In the past, all children with head injuries were transferred to Miami or Tampa/St. Petersburg, but through the use of telehealth services the Miami neurosurgeons now have access to our patient’s MRI images and can evaluate them to determine if they need to be transferred for specialized care. This has allowed many patients to remain close to home under the care of Golisano Children’s Hospital pediatric sub-specialists.”
Miami Children’s Hospital’s Tele health Center is a high-tech program designed to advance pediatric care for children around the world through enhanced access to pediatric subspecialty physicians and remote reading of diagnostic tests by highly trained experts.
Their imaging teams are among the region’s most experienced at reviewing and interpreting diagnostic tests.
Trends in the medical world show an increased focus on providing access to healthcare through innovative methods of care delivery. The use of technology helps expedite the sharing of information and its use will continue to increase as healthcare professionals consistently strive for new and improved ways of providing highquality care and services to patients.