District One Birth Center

District One Hospital Birth Center nurses train on newborn stabilization at District One Hospital nursery using an audio/video Neonatal Virtual Care Cart. Use of this cart brings a Children’s Minnesota neonatal care specialist to the bedside of the baby within minutes of the call. (Photo courtesy of Allina Health)

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, District One 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 District One now have enhanced 24/7 access to Children’s neonatal care specialists. Using audio/video technology, District One 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 another facility for further care.

When deemed appropriate, the District One physician places a call to Children’s Minnesota and requests a virtual consultation. Within minutes, a neonatal specialist from Children’s will connect via an audio/ video conference with the District One provider and care team. There is no extra cost to the patient’s family.

For District One Hospital physicians, the virtual care partnership is a way to better serve area families. “This virtual care relationship between Children’s and District One Hospital provides an enhanced level of safety for newborn care at the hospital. 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 Sherri Angell, RN, manager of District One Hospital’s Family Birthing Center. “We take excellent care of these babies and will send them to another facility for even more specialized care if necessary.”

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 Dr. Mark Bergeron Virtual Care physician lead for Children’s Minnesota neonatology department. “For newborns that live farther away and who 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.”

Children’s Minnesota seeks partners who are enthusiastic about improving patient care and who have a strong belief that a virtual partnership will benefit their community. It found both qualities in District One Hospital, part of Allina Health.

“The enthusiasm and support of the District One Hospital clinical and leadership teams has been outstanding,” noted Judy Wenzel, Telehealth director at Children’s Minnesota. “They are dedicated to providing the best quality of care to children in their community, a value that District One Hospital and Children’s shares.”

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 Faribault. We are committed to ensuring the success of this service to newborn patients. “Whether a newborn needs to be transferred to a higher level NICU or we are able to continue care at District One, we are focused on ensuring best practices are in place to provide the safest care possible,” said Angell. “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.”

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