Salt Lake City, Utah (Good Things Utah) — Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital launched a new telehealth program which brings expertise from doctors in the Neuro NICU, to other Intermountain hospitals around the state.

The telehealth program allows a neurologist at Intermountain Primary Children’s to monitor babies in real time and recommend treatments to be performed by caregivers at Level III NICUs in Utah. This new system standardizes care for complex cases of babies with brain injuries or who are at high risk of having one.

“All the babies in the NICU at Primary Children’s are from other hospitals and transporting them here can add to the cost and complexity of care,” said Betsy Ostrander, pediatric neurologist with U of U Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. “By using telehealth babies get the care they need using telehealth and remote monitoring and families are closer to home where their support network is.”

The system also allows caregivers at other hospitals to quickly reach out to neurologists at Primary Children’s when they have questions. This helps improve a caregiver’s skills because they are working on cases that in the past would have been transferred to Primary’s.

In addition, this system of care allows for the same continuous patient monitoring of potential seizures through remote EEG technology as if the infant were at Primary Children’s physically, which for the first time in Utah is possible through technology enhancements.

“Doctors and nurses in NICUs already have a high level of skill because of the complex nature of the cases they handle, and this is another way to expand on what they already know,” said Dr. Ostrander.

Telehealth programs help improve care at hospitals while keeping costs low. Because they can always have access to experts without having them physically on site.

*Sponsored by Intermountain Health.