The Catalyst Issue 21 | May 2015 - Page 10

COMMITMENT | to patients and the future TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION It takes more than pediatric expertise and compassionate caregivers to treat patients. The use of advanced technology also plays a role in caregivers’ decision making. EMR An electronic medical records (EMR) system is a vital tool that connects the various aspects of patient care, giving pediatric specialists and pediatricians the most up-to-date information about when a patient saw a specialist, or had a vaccination, for example. “If a child is seen in a Baylor Scott & White emergency room in Round Rock while visiting Grandma, I can immediately see the details of what happened there,” says Dr. Ransom. This transparency saves valuable time for physicians, who don’t need to spend time trying to call or e-mail a specialist who the child has seen in Temple. “It’s almost instantaneous communication,” Dr. Boyd says. “The ability to see all that data is immensely valuable to the care of the patient.” providers of McLane Children’s subscribe to a model of care called the “patient-centered medical home.” This means a child’s primary care pediatrician is that “home,” the point person for a patient’s care who looks after the child’s regular office visits, decides when a child needs to see a specialist, and subsequently coordinates such care. Dr. Ransom sees it as a gatekeeper function. Appointments at a pediatrician’s office fall into two broad categories, 10 THE CATALYST May 15 | sw.org MyChart Technology also plays an important role for parents. The online patient portal called MyChart allows parents to track and schedule appointments, review laboratory test results, submit medication refill requests, or send a quick message to their child’s pediatrician. “That’s been hugely successful and hugely valuable to patient care,” says Dr. Berg. Dr. Ransom adds, “We don’t have to play phone tag with parents in order to communicate about their child’s care.” SkyLight Skylight, an interactive television in patients’ hospital rooms, allows them to order food or watch informational or entertainment programs. Technology plays a role in making sure children stay in touch with loved ones, too. “We also have the ability to Skype in parents and loved ones from all over the world,” says Dr. Boyd, who added that a patient recently had a Skype visit with her dad, who was deployed overseas with the military. well checks and sick visits. Well checks are regular visits to ensure that a child is meeting developmental milestones, receiving immunizations, and remaining healthy. “Pediatricians love to keep everyone well,” Dr. Berg says. As the tide of the American healthcare system moves toward preventive medicine and wellness, Mrs. Hansen says, “other disciplines are just starting to catch up with pediatrics. We’ve always been focused on prevention and helping children live healthier childhoods.” Sick visits are exactly that— appointments when a child is experiencing a cold or flu, or some other malady. Pediatricians also monitor the treatment of chronic conditions, such as asthma or allergies. McLane Children’s pediatricians frequently see patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity, and also help manage other serious conditions, such as kidney disease or blood disorders. No matter how minor or how