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mHealth Intelligence: In Pediatric Specialties, Telemedicine is a Care Management Tool

At Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas City, Dr. Emily Fox is using a telemedicine platform to treat her pediatric rheumatology patients hundreds of miles away. For them, and for her, it's invaluable.

By Erick Wicklund

For about 20 children in Joplin, Mo., with chronic illnesses, a video screen offers a chance at a healthier life.

That screen is part of a telemedicine platform run by Children's Mercy Kansas City, 157 miles to the north. On the other end of that connection, Emily J. Fox, MD, checks out those kids four times a year, consulting their electronic medical record, chatting with their parents and taking to an onsite RN telefacilitator to make sure the exam is complete.

“They think it’s fun,” says Fox. “In many cases they think it’s a game.”

But these are children with chronic, and often painful, rheumatic, autoimmune and musculoskeletal conditions, including lupus and arthritis. They’re taking more than one high-risk medication, sometimes several, and need to be examined every few months.

“So it’s very important that we see them,” says Fox.

Fox’s pediatric rheumatology program is just one of a handful in the country using telemedicine, but it’s part of a much bigger network at Children’s Mercy. The 367-bed hospital offers 27 of its 47 pediatric specialties through telemedicine, reaching out to clinics across Missouri and Kansas to connect with children and their families who would otherwise have a hard time accessing specialist care.

Morgan Waller, MBA, the hospital’s director of telemedicine, won’t rest until all specialties are available via telemedicine. And then she’ll find more services to add to the platform.

“Telemedicine is a lifeline,” she told mHealthIntelligence in an earlier interview. “And with demand just starting to exceed the need, it’s only going to get bigger.”


Read the full article via mHealth Intelligence.

Learn more about how telemedicine technology is used at Children's Mercy.

Click here for more information about the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at Children's Mercy.