By Bruce Hoffmann, RRT, Director of Respiratory Care
CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson
For pediatric asthma patients living in Western North Dakota and beyond, regular check-ups to monitor their asthma just got closer to home.
CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson now sees pediatric asthma patients the third Wednesday of every month thanks to a collaboration with the Regional Children’s Asthma Clinic and UND Center for Family Medicine in Bismarck.
Pediatric asthma patients are seen up to age 21 sometimes drive for hours just to come to their appointment with the asthma specialists at the Regional Children’s Asthma Clinic in Lincoln (south of Bismarck.) Now thanks to telemedicine technology, those patients can make appointments in Dickinson instead, saving on time and travel expenses.
How it works:
When a patient attends Dickinson’s Pediatric Asthma Clinic, they receive the same set of services as are available in a normal clinic setting. They will be interviewed and examined by a resident physician and/or asthma educator located at CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck via live video.
A respiratory therapist in Dickinson performs a pulmonary function spirometry test and assists in the patient exam and education. A Jedmed scope is used for the exam, which allows the resident physician and asthma educator in Bismarck see the ears, nose, and throat in live video on the computer screen, as if they were using the scope themselves. Breath sounds are also able to be heard over the speakers.
Based on this information, an assessment of the condition will be made, along with a corresponding plan. The plan will be shared with the patient and his/her caretaker, who will also receive education about asthma and training regarding use of the medications as well as self-assessment of their asthma.
All patients with asthma will have an asthma action plan completed that they may use at school and home to help manage asthma. Necessary school forms may also be completed while at clinic. Eligible patients may also be registered to participate in the e-Asthma Tracker.
All of this information will then be shared with an attending physician who has experience in the Children’s Regional Asthma Clinic in Bismarck, and that physician will verify the assessment and plan of each patient. Any modifications to the assessment and/or plan will be conveyed to the patient/caretaker in a timely manner.
Since the initial asthma clinic opened in Dickinson in November of 2017, patient satisfaction surveys have been very positive for the first Telemedicine Asthma Clinic in the State. Future plans are to open additional telemedicine asthma clinics in other communities in North Dakota as CHI St Alexius Health and UND Center for Family Medicine expand pediatric asthma services across our region and the patients we serve.
Save on travel and schedule your child’s asthma appointment in Dickinson by calling the Regional Children’s Asthma Clinic at 701-530-8538.