Children’s Memorial Hermann is now offering families in The Woodlands access to high-quality, affordable after-hours pediatric care through a newly launched pilot project that utilizes a mobile application platform for on-demand nurse triage and house calls.
Memorial Hermann Health System, in partnership with Dallas-based PediaQ, is the first major health system in the United States to offer the revolutionary digital tool aimed at connecting sick children with highly trained nurse practitioners who can diagnose and treat common childhood injuries and illnesses during off-hours when pediatrician offices are typically closed.
These experienced nurse practitioners specialize in pediatrics and are capable of diagnosing and treating the same urgent care conditions often seen by pediatricians, including ear infections, fevers, the flu, strains and sprains, stings and bites, scrapes, cuts, vomiting, diarrhea and allergic reactions, among other conditions.
The pilot project is being launched by Children’s Memorial Hermann at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital where nurses and nurse practitioners are currently available to respond to requests to a triage line on weekdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
If they determine a child should be seen by a provider, a nurse practitioner will arrange an immediate consultation - available through the Q.Care mobile application - at the family’s home, where they can assess, diagnose, treat, and if needed, prescribe medication. Currently, house calls are available in The Woodlands and surrounding communities from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
“Children’s Memorial Hermann has long had a reputation for providing top-notch, end-to-end care for children and families throughout our region and this partnership solidifies that reputation, giving parents an easily accessible resource to get the care they need for their kids when they need it,” said Victoria Regan, MD, FAAP, Memorial Hermann’s Sr. Vice President, Women & Children’s Service Line.
Once additional nurse practitioners are hired and the program can be expanded, Memorial Hermann has plans to roll out the program in additional markets throughout Greater Houston.
The partnership marks an evolution in personal pediatric healthcare, allowing working families to more easily connect with caregivers at times that are convenient for them and their sick children. The arrangement is the latest strategy by Children’s Memorial Hermann to transform the way healthcare is delivered, beginning at birth.
“We understand how difficult it can be for families faced with finding treatment for their sick or injured children in the evenings or on weekends,” Dr. Regan said. “That’s why Memorial Hermann is pleased to help further Q.care’s groundbreaking quest to offer exceptional pediatric care in the comfort of patients’ homes. This partnership is a natural continuation of our ongoing efforts to advance the health and wellbeing of children and families across Houston.”
Since the official launch of the Q.care platform in September 2015, consumers throughout the United States have used the application to request more than 3,500 house calls. The nurse triage service was added this year to expand the company’s digital offerings while helping consumers more efficiently navigate the healthcare system, resulting in lower costs and a better overall patient experience. The service has received strong consumer response, earning hundreds of five-star ratings, according to PediaQ.
"PediaQ developed Q.care in recognition of the shift in our culture toward on-demand services and the response has been phenomenal,” said Jon O’Sullivan, CEO of Q.care. “We are thrilled to be able to further execute our strategy through this valuable partnership with a brand-name institution like Memorial Hermann. We look forward to building new initiatives in the coming months and further showcasing what the Q.care platform can do for health systems across the nation and their communities."