Connecting Families to the PICU Team

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) team at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital (UMCH) is offering a way for families to interact with their child and the medical team when they are not there in person.

“You simply can’t do pediatric care without having the parents there,” said Jason Custer, MD Director for Patient Safety at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) The researchers at UMMC came up with the idea for a technology called “PICU Connect” which is a mobile cart complete with a computer, speaker and 180 degree camera.

Dr. Custer and Shari Simone and the team decided to build “PICU Connect” themselves. So they went to the telemedicine team at UMMC and shared their vision for a HIPAA-compliant video communication device.

The telemedicine team said the PICU Connect could be built in-house and would cost about $6,000. The PICU team decided to raise the money needed through their annual golf tournament to cover the cost of creating the technology.

The technology was built to serve the PICU but is now offered in the adult medical intensive care unit. The Kamryn Lambert Foundation provided funding for an additional PICU Connect machine. Plans are now underway to further expand the technology to all eleven UMMC’s intensive care units.

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