Telemedicine services at Door County Medical Center (DCMC) now include TelePediatric critical care (TelePICU) and neonatal intensive care (TeleNICU), which allows physicians at Door County Medical Center to access pediatric subspecialists with audio and video capability through their hospital partners.
“Our mission at DCMC is to improve the health and well-being of our community,” says DCMC Pediatrician Dr. Amy Fogarty. “Through our partnership with HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital in Green Bay, we are able to collaborate with specialists to provide care for our pediatric patients in both urgent and emergent situations. Our entire care team - from nursing staff to physicians - have been trained in telemedicine for telepediatric critical care and TeleNICU.”
TelePICU: Pediatric Critical Care
TelePediatric critical care is offered through our Emergency Department at DCMC. This specialized program utilizes technology to connect our medical staff with board-certified pediatric intensivists at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital in Green Bay.
Pediatric intensivists are physicians who specialize in critical care medicine for children. They handle emergencies such as trauma, car accidents, critical heart or lung disease, or other incidents that require a visit to the Emergency Department.
When children arrive at DCMC’s Emergency Department, they receive immediate and expert care from physicians and nurses. Within a short period of time, TelePediatric Critical Care may be initiated which connects the DCMC Emergency Department staff with a pediatric intensivist at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital.
In the past, a DCMC physician would call and discuss a case via phone, utilizing advice given to make treatment decisions, including need for transfer. By using telemedicine technology, the same subspecialty trained physicians can see and hear the patient and interact with the family and medical staff to make more informed decisions and coordinate an appropriate treatment plan.
TeleNICU: Specialized Care for Newborns and Infants
“DCMC delivers an average of 130 babies a year, so in the rare event that an acute situation arises, our care team has an additional resource in TeleNICU,” says Dr. Fogarty.
TeleNICU involves the expertise of a board-certified neonatologist, which is a board- certified pediatrician that has gone through additional subspecialty training in the care of critically ill newborns. There are three board-certified neonatologists at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital, with a fourth joining the team in July 2020. These physicians are physically located at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital and are available for a telemedicine consultation day or night, seven days a week.
HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital neonatologist Dr. Robert Rock says he foresees utilization of telemedicine during initial resuscitation of critically ill infant—such as the delivery of a premature infant or in the event of an emergent delivery of a full-term infant. “The neonatologist can oversee the resuscitation and provide guidance to the team,” explains Dr. Rock. “TeleNICU can also be used if there are concerning physical exam findings for which the referring physician wishes a second opinion. Families will also be able to have questions addressed through direct video conferencing with a neonatologist.”
The technology can also be used to assess an infant with respiratory distress to determine whether the degree of illness necessitates transfer of the patient.
“It is a terrible situation when critical illness necessitates the transfer of an infant to a tertiary care facility away from the family and the mother who is recovering from birth. This technology can allow for input from a subspecialist while maintaining the mother-infant dyad,” says Dr. Rock, “Should an infant ultimately require transport, the family is able to meet the neonatologist through video before the transfer and understand what the plan of care will be upon arrival at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital.”
For more information about Door County Medical Center pediatric & infant services, please call 920-743-5566.