Living with cystic fibrosis is a challenge no family wants to face, but CoxHealth is now using telemedicine to make life a little easier for young patients (and their families) dealing with the progressive disease.
Instead of having to travel for care during flare-ups – which often occur regularly and require weeks of hospitalization – patients are now able to stay at Cox South and connect via telemedicine to Washington University pediatric specialists at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in the BJC HealthCare system.
In addition to keeping family close by, these efforts help control expenses from having to be away from home, and limit the disruption to work and other responsibilities.
“We’re very happy to offer this service to patients, since it means less disruption for families during flare-ups of the disease,” says Dr. Kayce Morton, CoxHealth physician who led the initiative. “Until now, families and children would have to leave home for weeks at a time, often very unexpectedly, for this treatment. We wanted to offer a solution that helps keep as much family normalcy as possible.”
Even though the physician will see patients via a screen, the information is just the same as if he or she were at Cox South in person. The patients will also be under the care of a hospital pediatrician at Cox South, who can help supply additional information to the specialist as needed to ensure optimal care.
Currently, CoxHealth officials believe this offering will help approximately 10 children annually.
CoxHealth and BJC HealthCare are part of the BJC Collaborative, eight independent health care systems focused on establishing clinical programs and services to improve access and quality of care for patients in the Midwest region.