“I wish I had another hour in the day!” It’s a common refrain for most parents. Families with children who have a disability or medical condition may feel it more acutely at times, as they devote valuable minutes or hours a day to care routines. And when the child’s health care provider is far away and getting the proper care requires travel, there’s even less time to spend on the things that really count – school, work, visiting friends, playing sports – just being a family, and being a kid.
But now, thanks to advances in technology and our ever-growing partnerships across the globe, we’re able to reach more kids in more places, giving them the time to spend on the things that matter most.
Telehealth connects patients
There are still only 24 hours in a day. But, by reducing the need for lengthy travel, telehealth gives time back to families.
Telehealth care is provided in a nearby clinic where children can be seen for a scheduled appointment with their Shriners Hospitals medical team, without traveling to the Shriners Hospital.
At the telehealth clinic, which may be at a Shriners Hospitals location or an associated affiliate site, a medical professional takes the patient’s clinical measurements including weight and height, just like any other clinic visit. Then, the child and family move to a private telehealth exam room, where they are able to communicate directly with their Shriners Hospitals medical team, via a computer system that uses a camera and a large screen to create live, two-way video and audio.
After the exam, families have time to talk with the local medical team, ask follow-up questions, complete paperwork and plan the next visit.
Reaching more kids in more places
Although Shriners Hospitals for Children has health care facilities in just three countries, our health care system has, over time, provided care for children from more than 170 countries. And we are determined to provide our unique, compassionate wrap-around care to as many children as possible, wherever they may live.
Using technology, community partnerships and affiliations, as well as creating additional ways to access our health care system, we can reach many more kids in need of our services, in many more places. We continue to increase our efforts to serve as many children as possible who, otherwise, would likely never experience the special brand of hope and healing that is the hallmark of our health care system.
Outreach clinics bring care closer to home
Our primary locations also hold outreach clinics within their local areas. In 2018, 246 outreach clinics were held in the U.S., helping to reach and care for children closer to their homes.
International outreach clinics were held in several countries in 2018, including Cyprus and Panama. In addition, we initiated clinics in new locations, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines. Our physicians also worked with other relief organizations and cared for patients in additional international locations.
The outreach clinic in Panama coordinated by Shriners Hospitals for Children — Shreveport is a prime example of the initiative’s impact. Earlier this year, the program served 550 patients, and 120 were scheduled to come to the U.S. for further treatment.
Overall our health care system held more than 300 outreach clinics in 2018.
We are proud of our continuing efforts to fulfill our promise to care for children wherever they may live, and bring medical excellence, hope and healing to communities around the globe.