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Telehealth bridges the gap

Telehealth capabilities allow families and pediatric providers to easily consult with Yale Medicine specialists in outpatient and inpatient settings, enabling many newborns, children and adolescents to receive the care they need close to home.

“One of our top objectives is to look at how we can better deliver pediatric care within the inpatient community setting to ensure that we don’t unnecessarily send children to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH) in New Haven for diagnosis and treatment when that care can be provided closer to home,” said Matthew Bizzarro, MD, vice chair for Clinical Affairs, Pediatrics, Yale New Haven Health.

Now Greenwich Hospital pediatric physicians in the Emergency Department, Pediatric inpatient unit and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit can have face-to-face video consultations directly with pediatric specialists in cardiology, hematology/oncology, infectious diseases, neurology, pulmonology, emergency medicine and gastroenterology.

“These inpatient consultations are more comprehensive and allow the pediatric subspecialist in New Haven to speak directly with the patient, family and medical team at Greenwich Hospital,” said Dr. Bizzarro.

Telehealth is also playing a key role in the outpatient setting. Sarah Lambert, MD, a Yale Medicine pediatric urologist at the YNHCH Pediatric Specialty Center in Greenwich, can see patients in the comfort of their own homes. “This can be very helpful when parents are working and children are at school, making it difficult for them to schedule an in-person office appointment,” she said.

While Dr. Lambert is available to meet patients in person, “many children don’t need to be in an actual office to receive care,” she said. “For instance, I follow children with hydronephrosis who require regular ultrasounds.” A swelling in the kidneys due to an inability for urine to drain, hydronephrosis requires regular monitoring. “Parents can bring their child for an ultrasound and then follow up with me via telehealth at a time that is more convenient.”

The staff at the YNHCH Pediatric Specialty Center assists patients and their families with the technology needed for the telehealth visits.