Hospital uses tele-robots to help young patients


Dr. Jonathon Bird consults with a physician from Cardinal Glennon via video camera.

A newly created pediatric and neonatal telemedicine program for the emergency department and the Women’s Health and Childbirth Center at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital was recently launched. In collaboration with SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, pediatric and newborn patients are able to receive medical evaluations from the physicians at SSM Cardinal Glennon more than 70 miles away in St. Louis without leaving the Emergency or OB departments.
The pediatric telemedicine program provides patients real-time remote consultation and evaluation through interactive, high-definition video and audio communication. By using enhanced video technology, pediatric patients are able to receive around the clock remote health care without a transfer to SSM Cardinal Glennon. Families are able to receive emergency and specialized consultations, evaluations, and exams by electronically sharing their child’s medical information with physicians at SSM Cardinal Glennon.
Dr. Kelli Boelens, pediatrician, was impressed with the technology.
“I am thrilled the residents of Ste. Genevieve and surrounding areas will benefit from the expertise of the neonatologists from Cardinal Glennon with the help of modern day medicine and technology,” she said.
Through the program, these Emergency specialists connect directly to the SGCMH Emergency Department and OB to provide care and consultation to young patients who experience traumatic injuries, life-threatening infectious diseases or other critical illnesses.
“When a parent has a child/newborn with special health care needs, they should be able to get the necessary care in a timely manner, regardless of their location,” said Lisa Bird, RN. “Offering this technology makes it possible for more newborns to get the care they need here and possibly avoid a transfer to a higher-level facility. Our goal is to keep moms and babies together whenever possible.”
Right now, SGCMH is using the pediatric telemedicine program in the OB and ER, but it may be expanded in the future. Today’s Telehealth is performed in all areas across the patient continuum of care.

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