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Virtual doctor visits link families in Monterey to pediatric specialists at Packard Children’s


MONTEREY, Calif. -- Families in Monterey now have a new way to access pediatric specialty care from experts at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, without making the commute to Palo Alto. The Pediatric Group of Monterey, in partnership with Packard Children’s, recently implemented Cisco HealthPresence technology, a video interface that enables live physician-to-patient interaction between doctors in Palo Alto and patients in Monterey. Recognizing the technology’s potential to improve access to specialty care, Cisco donated the equipment and launched a pilot project in February 2013 with pediatric urologist William Kennedy, MD, at Packard Children’s, and pediatrician Todd A. Dwelle, MD, at the Pediatric Group of Monterey. 
 
Cisco HealthPresence provides “care-at-a-distance,” allowing patients to interact with doctors many miles away through a video interface. For the last year, Dwelle has worked with Packard nurse practitioners on-site at the Pediatric Group of Monterey to facilitate interactions between patients in Monterey and specialists in Palo Alto.
 
“This technology has tremendous value and potential as a health care solution for our community,” says Dwelle. “When our patient families need a Packard referral, they may face long wait-times for appointments, hours of commuting, and the logistical and financial burden of taking time off school and work. This partnership lowers the barriers to Packard’s high-quality specialty care, so that families can focus on the health and well-being of their child.”
 
To date, this technology has enabled Kennedy to conduct more than 100 virtual visits with patients from his home base at Packard Children’s, and has shown promising results. Since HealthPresence was introduced in Monterey, wait times to see Kennedy have dropped 60 percent. Fewer families are making the 80-mile drive to Palo Alto, and patients are getting faster treatment and better continuity of care as providers use the interface to share key documents such as electronic medical records and radiographic images.
 
“HealthPresence allows for faster and more convenient treatment for my patients, and it’s amazing how much they like it,” says Kennedy. “Kids warm up to me more quickly when I pop up on screen than in person. Parents are amazed at the quality of the audio and video. And without the stress of commuting, they are more relaxed and able to discuss important medical information.”
“The bottom line,” Kennedy adds, “is that teleheath allows us to provide high-quality, collaborative care that is accessible to our patient families, right in their own communities.”
 
Looking ahead, the Pediatric Group of Monterey will onboard other services in addition to urology and hopes to see this technology serve as a model for other hospitals and healthcare programs.

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About Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford
Stanford Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its core, is an internationally recognized leader in world-class, nurturing care and extraordinary outcomes in every pediatric and obstetric specialty from the routine to rare, for every child and pregnant woman. Together with our Stanford Medicine physicians, nurses, and staff, we deliver this innovative care and research through partnerships, collaborations, outreach, specialty clinics and primary care practices at more than 100 locations in the U.S. western region. As a non-profit, we are committed to supporting our community – from caring for uninsured or underinsured kids, homeless teens and pregnant moms, to helping re-establish school nurse positions in local schools. Learn more about our full range of preeminent programs and network of care at stanfordchildrens.org, and on our Healthier, Happy Lives blog. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is the heart of Stanford Children’s Health, and is one of the nation’s top hospitals for the care of children and expectant mothers. For a decade, we have received the highest specialty rankings of any Northern California children’s hospital, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals survey, and are the only hospital in Northern California to receive the national 2013 Leapfrog Group Top Children’s Hospital award for quality and patient care safety. Discover more at stanfordchildrens.org.

About Pediatric Group of Monterey
The Pediatric Group of Monterey is a well-established group of pediatric providers caring for children in Monterey County for over 50 years. They are dedicated to providing quality evidence-based care utilizing modern technology and compassion. Learn more about the Pediatric Group of Monterey at www.pedsgroup.com or like them on Facebook to receive timely local pediatric information.