When something unexpected happens to your baby, it feels like the world should come to a standstill. You want every person, every resource and every tool possible to care for your newborn. Thanks to a new partnership with Children’s Minnesota, one of the largest and most regarded pediatric health systems in the country, Regina Hospital, part of Allina Health, can now deliver more resources and expertise than ever before when caring for newborns.
Through a new virtual care partnership, physicians at Regina Hospital now have 24/7 access to Children’s neonatal care specialists. Using audio/video technology, Regina physicians can hold a virtual consultation with a neonatal clinician from Children’s Minnesota. From there, clinicians from both systems collaborate on the care management of newborns requiring acute stabilization after birth and determine whether the baby needs to be transferred to Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for further care.
"This virtual care relationship between Children’s and Regina Hospital provides an enhanced level of safety for newborn care at the hospital," stated Tom Thompson, president of Regina Hospital. "We believe it will prove to be a model for other community hospitals."
When deemed appropriate, the Regina physician places a call to Children’s Minnesota and requests a virtual consultation. Shortly thereafter, a neonatal specialist from Children’s will connect via an audio/ video conference with the Regina provider and care team. There is no extra cost to the patient’s family.
For Regina Hospital staff, the virtual care partnership is a way to better serve area families. “By allowing the Children’s neonatal specialists to actually see the baby, we’re confident that we’ll be able to keep and serve more families here, in their own community,” said Julie McGary, RN, manager of Regina Hospital’s Family Birthing Center. “We take excellent care of these babies and will send them to Children’s Minnesota for even more specialized care if necessary. Once it is determined a higher level of care is needed, safety and efficiency of the transport are also improved using the Virtual Care process.”
Partnerships like these also support Children’s vision to be every family’s essential partner in raising healthier children. "Our vision pertains to all infants – not just the ones who are born in our Mother Baby Centers," said Mark Bergeron, MD, Virtual Care physician lead for Children’s Minnesota neonatology department. "For newborns who live farther away and need additional services, the virtual health partnership lets us export our expertise and care to places we couldn’t otherwise reach. Virtual care is an excellent way to help improve access to specialized care throughout the region."
The virtual care partnership is sure to be an outstanding and helpful resource for area patients; one that improves the overall experience of families at Hastings. In the years to come, Regina Hospital and Children’s Minnesota may explore expanding the partnership to other departments.
For now, Regina is committed to ensuring the success of this service to newborn patients. “Whether a newborn needs to be transferred to Children’s or we are able to continue care at Regina, we are focused on ensuring best practices are in place to provide the safest care possible,” said Thompson. “Our ability to continue care close to home is valued by our patients and this program will help us continue to offer that experience for our patients and families.”
For more information about Regina Hospital’s new virtual health partnership with Children’s Minnesota, visit allinahealth.org/regina. To find out more about Children’s Minnesota, visit childrensmn.org.