Kids with Disabilities to Get Help with Telemedicine Program
$2 Million Grant Brings Telemedicine To Children With Disabilities
(Sacramento, Calif.) - The UC Davis Department of Pediatrics has received a $2 million, five-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to fund a new telemedicine program for children in remote communities. The School-Based Tele-Physiatry Assistance for Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Services (STARS) program will provide critical physiatry care for kids with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries and other disabilities.
Psyiatry is a branch of medicine centered on non-surgical physical medicine and rehabilitation, aiming to restore functional ability and quality of life to those with physical impairments. The team believes the program will close gaps in care, improve quality of life for affected children and save money.
"The goal of the STARS program is to broaden our reach," said Loren Davidson, associate clinical professor and chief of pediatric rehabilitation. "We're geographically limited based on the distance from the medical center and how many staff we have to send out. We're trying to bridge the provider gap through telemedicine, trying to reach these underserved communities."
Children with severe disabilities receive free, coordinated care through California Children's Services' Medical Therapy Program. During school-based clinics, visiting clinicians examine each child to determine the best therapeutic approaches to prevent complications and reduce suffering, prescribing physical therapy and medications, as well as devices, such as orthotics, braces and wheelchairs.
The system breaks down, however, for kids in remote communities. There are only a limited number of physiatrists who can travel long distances. When a physiatrist is unavailable, other physicians are enlisted to conduct clinics. These substitutes may lack the appropriate training to provide comprehensive care.
"One of our goals is to look at hip surveillance screening," said Davidson. "Kids with cerebral palsy are at high risk for hip dislocation. The best treatment is to identify these problems early, before the hip completely dislocates - an orthopedic surgeon can keep the hip in. But when the doc providing guidance is not a rehab doc, and not affiliated with the pediatric orthopedists conducting surveillance, the screening doesn't get done."
In addition, sending physiatrists to remote communities is expensive and reduces their ability to provide care. Every hour on the road is time spent not treating patients.
"In some faraway counties, they can't even hire a physician, they just tell the family they have to drive," said James Marcin, chief of pediatric critical care medicine and director of the pediatric telemedicine program at UC Davis Children's Hospital. "It's a huge burden on children and their families."
To remedy this, the STARS program will test whether telemedicine is an effective way to provide physiatry care. The program will install secure teleconferencing equipment in schools in San Joaquin, Butte, Mendocino, Lodi and Fresno counties. Davidson and other physiatrists will remotely guide screening and write the appropriate prescriptions and referrals. The group believes they can provide better care for more children and prevent many of the complications associated with these conditions.
"The efficiencies gained with telemedicine, the medical direction we can provide - it's a potential game-changer," said Marcin.
In addition to providing care, the grant will also support research to determine which approaches provide the greatest benefit for kids and their families. The study will examine three cohorts: physiatrists providing care in person; non-physiatrists providing care in person; and physiatrists using telemedicine. The group will assess whether telemedicine improves quality of care, increases patient-centeredness and reduces costs.
But most importantly, the group hopes these efforts will help them reach children who need access to the best possible care.
"The hardest thing to see is different outcomes based on how close patients live to a children's hospital," said Davidson. "That should not be a determining factor."
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesRoseville Paying 20 Percent More for ThisRoseville, CA, - Roseville gas prices dipped again slightly this past week offering motorists a slight reprieve since the gas tax went into effect on November 1
263,000 Acres Already Torched in Southern California FiresCalifornia Fire Updates 2017: Over 9,000 firefighters remain on the line, successfully making progress in containment of several of the fires that sparked last week in southern California
WinterWonderGrass Music and Brew Festival Tickets On SaleOlympic Valley, Calif., - Silhouetted against the snowy Sierra Nevada, WinterWonderGrass Festival returns for its 4th year at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows with headlining artists
TobyMac Tour Coming to Sacramento and RenoSacramento,CA, - Seven-time GRAMMY winner TobyMac will once again bring his dynamic "HITS DEEP Tour" to 29 markets next year, alongside a talent-packed line up
Gold Country Wildlife Rescue Seeks Volunteers and InternsAUBURN - Gold Country Wildlife Rescue is seeking the assistance of dedicated individuals to help support animals in need.
All-new Volkswagen Atlas a roomy SUVRoseville, CA,- Looking to fill what it considered a void in its sport utility vehicle offerings, Volkswagen developed the 2018 Atlas.
Lower Cost Electricity Anticipated for Some Placer County ResidentsPLACER COUNTY, CA - In December, residents and businesses will receive the first of several notices informing them about the coming change in their electric energy supply
Groundbreaking for Interstate 80 / Highway-65 Interchange ImprovementsRoseville, CA, - The Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA), in partnership with Caltrans, the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority, the Federal Highway Administration
Merry Days & Holly Nights at Squaw Valley Alpine MeadowsOlympic Valley, Calif.- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is celebrating its second annual Merry Days & Holly Nights, two weeks of spirited events and activities December 16-31.
Southern California Fires Fueled by WindsCalifornia Fire Updates 2017: Over 8,500 firefighters have made significant progress on the wildfires burning in southern California. As containment lines continue to be reinforced, many evacuations have been lifted
$111 Million Budget Adopted by PCWA BoardAUBURN, Calif. , - At its December 7 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2018 budget
Woman Found Dead in the American River CanyonAuburn, CA,- The Placer County Sheriff's Coroner's Office has confirmed the identity of the woman found in the American River canyon Wednesday as Yin Wong, 33, of Sacramento.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It