Skip to content Skip to navigation

Indian Health Service and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Partner on Pediatric Telehealth

October 19, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

The Department of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) plans to partner with the Indian Health Service (IHS) to create a pediatric specialty consultation service using telehealth for American Indian and Alaska Native children served by IHS.

As the first step, IHS and CHOP will develop a comprehensive pediatric telemedicine plan for communities in the IHS Navajo, Phoenix, Tucson and Albuquerque areas. The goal is to create a model for physician-to-physician consultation services. CHOP doctors will provide advice to IHS health care providers on challenging and unusual cases, including diagnoses and courses of treatment.

“Access to pediatric specialty care is limited across much of the United States, with many communities experiencing delays in both consultation and service,” Joseph St. Geme, M.D., physician-in-chief and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a statement. “As a result of this important initiative, children in rural communities will benefit from medical consultations provided directly, securely and effectively to their IHS health care providers by experts in the field of pediatric medicine.”

The pediatric specialty consultation services will benefit tribal communities in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. This telehealth partnership will enable IHS to identify and triage the pediatric specialty service needs for American Indian and Alaska Native children, prioritize clinical specialty service opportunities, determine the critical clinical, operational and technological infrastructure required to provide telehealth services and understand the advantages and disadvantages of new models of care delivery. Additionally, the pediatric telehealth consultation service will enable HIS to analyze and improve key clinical and operational outcomes and develop business plans for broader deployment of telehealth and identify potential funding streams.

This partnership builds on IHS efforts to increase access to telehealth programs and services. On September 20, IHS announced a new contract for $6.8 million awarded to Avera Health to provide telemedicine services in all 19 Great Plains area service units, which serve approximately 130,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives.

In 2009, HIS established the IHS TeleBehavioral Health Center of Excellence to provide behavioral health services for patients across the Indian health system. The Center works to provide, promote and support the delivery of high quality, culturally competent telebehavioral health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Additionally, the IHS Teleophthalmology Program was established in 2001 to screen IHS patients across the country for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in patients with diabetes.

“The Indian Health Service is dedicated to providing access to quality care for its patients, and over the years, IHS investments in telehealth have brought the best care to some of the most remote communities in the country,” IHS principal deputy director Mary Smith said in a statement. Smith said through this partnership, IHS will be able to “design and develop a service specifically for pediatric care and consultation for our patients that live in very rural areas and may not be able to travel long distances to a facility to see a specialist.”

 

Topics

News

CMS Looks to Increase Patient Engagement with New Models

The Centers for Medicare & and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced two new models from the CMS Innovation Center (CMMI) that will aim to increase patient engagement in care decisions by putting more information in the hands of Medicare beneficiaries.

Medtronic, Fitbit Integrating Health and Activity Data for Diabetes Management

Fitness wearables company Fitbit, based in San Francisco, and Dublin, Ireland-based Medtronic, a medical device company, have teamed up to integrate health and activity tracking for patients living with diabetes and their physicians and care teams.

UC San Diego Health Offering EHR, iPad Access to Patients

Patients at the recently-opened Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health can be in more command with their own experience by assessing their own medical information, controlling room features and more.

Texas Medical Center, Australia Form BioBridge to Develop Health Innovation

Houston-based Texas Medical Center (TMC) and the Melbourne-based Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) are collaborating on a health startup exchange program.

Teladoc Hits 101K Patient Visits in November

Telehealth vendor Teladoc announced this week that it totaled 101,600 e-health patient visits in November, setting a company record.

Research of mHealth Apps Reveals Significant Gaps in Quality

An evaluation of 137 patient-facing mobile health apps revealed that few apps address the needs of the patients who could benefit the most, according to research in December’s issue of Health Affairs.