Clinician Support Technology introduces Baby CareLink for electronic neonatal care in Colorado

Framingham 22 July 2002Clinician Support Technology (CST), a pioneer in Internet technologies to improve patient care, was hailed by the governor of Colorado as a lynchpin in a pilot programme by that state to build a better health care system. CST's flagship product, Baby CareLink, will be used by hospitals in the Denver area to help parents of newborns requiring neonatal intensive care. Baby CareLink links neonatal intensive care unit nurses and doctors with the families of infants via a secure Web site with electronic messaging.

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Baby CareLink facilitates improved communication, increased family participation, enhanced parent education, and more effective discharge planning. It lets parents gain confidence in caring for their premature or medically complex newborn, and consequently helps them bring their baby home sooner and to care for them more effectively once at home. This saves money for hospitals and health insurers.

"Baby CareLink has proven its worth both to improve the quality of care and to do so at less cost", stated Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Charles Safran. "We are delighted to play such a crucial role in the state of Colorado's initiative. We believe this validates our product and technology, and hope Colorado is the first of many states to take this next step in medical care."

Baby CareLink will debut this month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Children's Hospital in Denver. Other pilot programmes will be run at University Hospital, Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital and the Rose Medical Center. State officials hope to have Baby CareLink in all Colorado NICU centres by the end of the year.

CST staff will install Baby CareLink in the hospitals and provide training to medical staff on how to use the system. The company will also provide ten laptop computers to loan to parents for their participation in the system. Johnson & Johnson, a partner with CST in the programme, will also provide computer equipment for medical staff and parents to use.

The pilot programme is being overseen by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. In January 2002, state officials began developing a new disease-management initiative for the state's Medicaid recipients. CST is the crucial player for the state's effort to improve neonatal care; other parts of the initiative will address health problems such as mental illness, asthma, and diabetes.

"There is strong evidence that working closely with patients to ensure they understand and comply with their treatment programmes can improve their health and reduce overall treatment costs. Through this innovative pilot programme, we have the opportunity to enhance the care for Medicaid patients", explained Colorado Governor Bill Owens.

"We are especially pleased that we can participate in a programme to improve the quality of care for Medicaid recipients", added Dr. Lawrence Gottlieb, CST's senior vice president and chief medical officer. "Medicaid costs must be brought under control, and Baby CareLink lets the state do that while supporting better care for patients and support to their families. It demonstrates that by applying state-of-the-art technology to support more effective communication and learning, we really can create a health care system that can achieve both better outcomes and lower costs."

Baby CareLink is the first suite of products incorporating the innovative CST CareLink technology to support parents and clinicians in improving neonatal care and care management. Both Baby CareLink CM, a suite of modules for care managers, and Baby CareLink HS, a suite of modules for hospitals and health care systems, provide clinicians and parents with innovative Internet-supported tools which foster an environment where parents become more active participants in their baby's care.

Providing parents with timely information empowers them to play a more active part in their child's care, establishes a common framework for understanding milestones to be achieved, and reinforces clinicians teaching and planning for the infant's family. These programmes have been used successfully for both commercially insured and Medicaid populations. The improved connectivity between clinicians, care managers, and parents of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit and after discharge to home has been demonstrated in a randomised clinical trial to reduce overall length of hospital stay while dramatically improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided. Improved parent satisfaction and decreased hospital re-admissions are also achieved.

Clinician Services Technology Inc. is pioneering new applications for telemedicine, using Internet technology to expand and improve care for the public. With a seasoned management team from the health care and insurance industries, as well as funding from the National Institutes of Health and other private investors, CST has created several innovative products to improve patient care and cut medical expenses at the same time.


Leslie Versweyveld

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