Wolfson Children's Hospital transfer center making impact

Service quickens transfer of critically ill kids to Wolfson

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a medical emergency, every minute counts. And Wolfson Children's Hospital said its new transfer center will drastically cut the minutes it takes for patients in hospitals around the area to be admitted to the children's hospital.

Instead of your child's doctor having to make several calls to different departments to get them admitted to Wolfson, now they can call one place.

Even though the transfer center has only been in effect for two weeks, people said they've already noticed a change.

"The first day we actually got calls from intensivists and from our hospitalists and from some of our physicians in the ED who were amazed at how quick this program was working," said Veronica Scott-Fulton, vice president of operations for Patient Care Services at Wolfon Children's Hospital.

It's a one-stop shop for doctors and hospitals throughout Florida and south Georgia who want to get a critically ill patient to Wolfson as soon as possible.

"There was a time in the past when you had to call several numbers to get kids here to the hospital. Or if you were acquainted with the system, it would have been easier for you to get in. But now you call the number one time, they make all the behind-the-scenes calls, and the kid can easily come to our hospital," said Scott-Fulton.

The transfer center runs 24 hours a say, seven days a week.

It gets the info the hospital needs from the referring doctor or hospital so it can plan all the details quickly -- things like what hospital service the child needs and which hospital bed the child will be in.

Scott-Fulton said it cuts a process that used to take 20 to 30 minutes down to five.

"Every second makes a difference; when you think about the heart and oxygenation, when you think about the brain, when you think about children and how quickly they can become dehydrated and how quickly they can arrest, every second counts," said Scott-Fulton.

Wolfson makes that fast transport happen by using the Kids Kare Mobile ICU. It's staffed by a pediatric critical care nurse and pediatric respiratory therapist. It covers 350-mile radius, including Tallahassee, Pensacola, Daytona, Brunswick and Lake City. The Life Flight helicopter is used as well.

"We're doing everything we can to change health care for good and to provide the best access for all kids in Jacksonville and abroad," said Scott-Fulton.

Wolfson said it's moving forward with plans to expand the same service for all adult facilities.