The Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre provides specialized pediatric health care in Quebec through its CHILD, YOUTH AND FAMILY HEALTH NETWORK.
"Giving health-care professionals real-time access to information on patients, using distance diagnosis, offering specialized online instruction and training via videoconferencing: these are just a few of the services offered by the CHILD, YOUTH AND FAMILY HEALTH NETWORK, all aimed at serving regional communities and providing the best quality of highly specialized health care throughout Quebec," says Dr. Anne-Marie MacLellan, Director of the Montreal Children's Hospital Child, Youth and Family Health Network.
The network was created to support dozens of well-established programs and services for infants, children and adolescents throughout the province. The network also provides invaluable instruction and training to health-care professionals everywhere in Quebec. The Montreal Children's Hospital has forged close ties with regional hospitals, many CLSCs, schools and other institutions. The network works actively to build other ties and encourage closer relationships among the various stakeholders.
Dr. MacLellan notes that the Children's telehealth system provides highly specialized care to infants, children and adolescents in the regions. "Some of these children don't have to leave their communities to see pediatric specialists such as cardiologists, radiologists, urologists or respirologists. This is an exciting new tool, and the Network will continue to expand the services offered in this manner. Thanks to telehealth, distance is no longer a barrier for patients or health-care professionals. It allows the Children's to continue expanding its services across Quebec," she says.
The network in action
- The new LGH-MCH Child and Adolescent Consultation Services will open in early May. This joint venture between the Children's and the Lakeshore General Hospital gives children living on the West Island access to two specialized pediatric clinics near their home rather than going downtown. An Asthma Clinic and a Child and Adolescent Consultation Clinic will be located in the Ambulatory Care Centre of the Lakeshore.
- Pediatricians and nurses from the Lakeshore and the Children's will staff this service. The long-term goal is to open other pediatric clinics at the Lakeshore. "This partnership reflects our institutions' commitment to providing quality health care to families in their own community. We are proud to offer this new ambulatory pediatric service, built upon and supported by the established expertise of the Montreal Children's Hospital," says Diane Somerville, Coordinator of Ambulatory Care Services at the Lakeshore. Currently, about 350 children (20%) seen at the Asthma Clinic at the Children's live on the West Island. In addition, some 460 children (15%) treated at the Adolescent Medicine Clinic at the Children's live on the West Island. "This is a prime example of our network at work," says Johanne Desrochers, Administrative Head of the Child, Youth and Family Health Network. "People working together for the benefit of children and families. The walls dividing institutions are coming down as we focus on the needs of the child rather than each institution."
- The Children's has just signed a formal agreement with the Herzl Family Practice Centre at the Jewish General Hospital. As of September, patients seen at the Children's who do not have a pediatrician or family doctor will be referred to the MCH/JGH Pediatric Primary Care Centre, situated at the Herzl Family Practice Centre. Several pediatricians from the Children's will work with physicians at the Herzl Family Practice Centre. They will provide relevant consultations and help organize hospitalization for patients at the Children's or elsewhere if the need arises. "Often, it will be more convenient for children with non-threatening ailments to be seen in this new centre," says Dr. MacLellan. "At the same time, this agreement will help alleviate waiting times in the Children's Emergency Department."
Remote health care and training programs
- Sick children are able to recover at home or live at home thanks to the support offered 24/7 by the Intensive Ambulatory Care Services and its outpatient clinics and home support.
- When a mother gives birth to a sick newborn in a regional hospital, the Children's sends out its specialized Neonatal Transport Team to bring the infant to the MCH.
- The Children's Neonatal Outreach Training Program provides on-site teaching to health-care professionals in regional hospitals. Training is offered in such things as stabilizing sick newborns prior to transport and caring for them once they return to the regional health centre.
- A team of pediatricians provides on-site emergency medical training to doctors and nurses. They have provided this training in places such as Chicoutimi, Rimouski and Sept-Îles.
- Pediatric specialists from the Children's regularly visit First Nations and Inuit communities, providing quality care and reducing costly and disruptive trips to the south.
- The MCH's Child and Adolescent Trauma Program plays an important role in the provincial trauma network representing the needs of children and adolescents. Children and teens with traumatic injuries can be quickly transferred to the Children's.
- The Platypus computer system is the MUHC's latest innovation. It give doctors and other health-care professionals real-time remote access to patient information, thus improving the efficiency and quality of care regardless of location.
- The state-of-the-art telehealth technology allows specialists in disciplines such as cardiology, urology, respirology and radiology to provide distance diagnosis.
- The Telehealth system also gives health-care professionals throughout Quebec access to specialized online and videoconference education on the latest medical advances. This supports health-care professionals in the regions and contributes to their retention.
- Thanks to the online Family Resource Library, parents across Quebec have access to medical information either at the hospital or via the Web. The information is available in English and French at www.mchfamilylibrary.ca.
The Montreal Children's Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. The institution is a leader in the care and treatment of sick infants, children and adolescents from across Quebec. The Montreal Children's Hospital provides a high level and broad scope of health-care services, and provides ultra-specialized care in many fields, including cardiology and cardiac surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, traumatology, genetic research, psychiatry and child development, and musculoskeletal conditions, including orthopedics and rheumatology. Fully bilingual and multicultural, the institution respectfully serves an increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages.
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