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news News Wednesday, April 1, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 7:50 PM - Tuesday, March 31, 2020 7:50 PM

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland launches telehealth program

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland launches telehealth program

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland is expanding its care model by launching a telehealth program dedicated to providing specialized care to new and established patients from the comfort of their own homes. Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support clinical health care and patient and professional health-related education. The program, called Fast Track Video Visits, will allow physicians at the Portland Shriners Hospital to connect with their patients via video software to conduct a number of patient visits, including new patient consultations, annual check-ups, follow-up visits and non-emergent fractures.

Staff members at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland realized the need to adapt their services around the COVID-19 pandemic to eliminate barriers to care. “Our telehealth program has been in planning for quite some time and was about to be launched within the next month anyway,” said Robert Bernstein, M.D., chief of staff at the Portland Shriners Hospital. “This is simply a good reason to get it going now.”

Visits are personalized to each patient and conducted through Skype with a Portland Shriners Hospital provider licensed in the state in which the patient lives. Through the use of telehealth, the Portland Shriners Hospital staff will make care more accessible to patients long after the COVID-19 crisis has dissipated. The launch of this network will provide a convenient alternative for families traveling long distances to visit their doctor at the hospital by reducing unnecessary trips that take patients and families away from school and work.

With a focus on safety, convenience and patient satisfaction, the Portland Shriners Hospital staff hopes this innovative approach will ease any stress related to maintaining appointments and complying with stay at home orders. The telehealth program is an extension of the care currently provided at the Portland Shriners Hospital, and the platform improves the safety of the community by decreasing potential risk of exposure.

The telehealth program will not replace all in-person visits. Circumstances that will continue to require an in-person visit include new injuries, the need for X-rays, patients that need adjustments to their orthotic or prosthetic devices and patients that need casts removed. However, by utilizing telehealth, our physicians are able to reduce the number of patients who need to come to the hospital while also providing the same level of specialized care that our patients and families have come to expect.

“This is an opportunity to provide more convenient care without the patient leaving their home,” said Dr. Bernstein. “It also allows the doctors to have more time to spend communicating with each patient and family, which is better medical care.”

To schedule a visit, call the hospital at 503-221-3422 just like you would when setting up a regular appointment and indicate you would like to schedule a video visit.