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Telemedicine Care through the Beacon Clinic

The Beacon Clinic’s telemedicine home visit program is the first of its kind at Children’s Mercy, putting a high-tech twist on the time-honored house call. The Beacon Program is led by Ingrid A. Larson, MSN, MBA, DNP, RN, APRN, CPNP, Director.

The Beacon Clinic’s patients have medically complex conditions and face a number of obstacles to their medical care. For some, transportation can be a challenge, especially in bad weather. Exposure to possible infections and illnesses from other patients also can be a concern for some. But for all, the goal is to keep them out of the emergency room and as healthy as possible. 

Those are the kinds of needs the telemedicine home visit program can address. The program has two dedicated nurse practitioner care coordinators who determine if it’s in the patient’s best interest to remain home instead of traveling to the clinic for an appointment. If they decide the patient should remain home, they may recommend a telemedicine home visit. 

Modern-day house calls

These modern-day house calls are available for existing Beacon Clinic patients who live within an hour’s drive of the Beacon Clinic. A telemedicine nurse travels to the patient’s home with a telemedicine robot. 

The robot is equipped with special cameras and attachments that transmit the child’s home visit to a Beacon Clinic provider in real time. The telemedicine nurse can use the robot to perform a thorough medical examination, zooming in on a rash, listening to the patient’s heart and lungs, and looking in their ears, eyes and throat, as well as checking their vital signs. 

The Beacon Clinic is working in partnership with the Children’s Mercy Telemedicine Department to administer the telemedicine home visit program. Children’s Mercy already uses telemedicine technology to conduct consult clinic appointments for grants in Wichita and Joplin, for example. 

However, the Beacon Clinic is the first to use the telemedicine robot to conduct home patient visits, delivering the same level of care to these medically complex patients that they would receive in the clinic, minus concerns about transportation or infectious illnesses.

For more information on the Beacon Clinic or its telemedicine home visit program, call (816) 960-8040