This week, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas expanded its reach by offering teleconferencing with emergency room doctors at Seton Medical Center Hays.
Seton doctors already can see pediatric patients at any of its emergency rooms, but now when you bring your child into the Seton emergency room in Kyle, doctors there can connect by telemedicine technology to a pediatric emergency room specialist at Dell Children’s.
“We are trying to elevate and standardize that level of care to what we consider to be the regional standard of care at Dell Children’s Medical Center,” said Dr. Mark Shen, president at Dell Children’s.
Seton Hays also now has a separate waiting room and treatment area for pediatric patients, too, that is more kid-friendly than its typical emergency rooms.
If a child needs to be seen in person by a specialist or treated at Dell Children’s, Seton Hays will follow the same protocol it already does at all its other locations and transport them to Dell Children’s.
“There may be situations where telemedicine visit may be a more efficient means for care, and the child may not need to be transported in, thanks to the use of telemedicine,” Shen says.
Seton has not added any additional staff in Kyle for this purpose. It is monitoring how often children are using its emergency rooms outside of Dell to determine when more staff needs to be added.
“When the number of children a certain hospital sees reaches a certain threshold, that’s when we’d decide that it would be beneficial to add pediatric-trained staff to these other (emergency departments),” Shen says.
Adding telemedicine to Seton Hays comes after the U.S. Census Bureau named Hays County the fastest growing county in the nation in 2016, with a population increase of 23.5 percent from 2010 to 2015.
Also new this year, if your child is having a minor emergency, you can book an appointment online at DellChildrensER.com for either Dell Children’s Medical Center or at Seton Hays. Patients will be seen within 15 minutes of their time slot.
Of course, if you’re having a life-threatening emergency, call 911, or if you’re having a major emergency, get to the hospital immediately.