Michigan State University and Sparrow have launched a new pediatric resource and referral service that will match the region's youngest patients with the specialty care they need, cutting down on wait times and making it easier for families to navigate the health care system.
The new service, CareMatch for Kids, is the first step in the consolidation of children's health care services that MSU and Sparrow announced in April.
The call center, intended as a resource for physicians, is staffed by uniquely trained referral coordinators and serves as a single point of contact between clinicians and pediatric subspecialty care offered through MSU HealthTeam and Sparrow.
The goal is to enhance the level of care for pediatric patients by improving access and providing greater convenience for families. Information on accessing the new service is being distributed to physicians across the region.
"We are pleased to be moving forward in our partnership with MSU, offering more convenient access to a comprehensive array of pediatric services through the call center," said Dennis Swan, president and CEO of Sparrow Health System. "We are dedicated to providing Patient and Family centered services as close to home as possible."
The announcement of the new referral service comes as the two institutions continue to recruit new pediatric specialists and subspecialists to the region, including doctors in pediatric orthopedics, genetics and infectious disease.
"The physicians, nurses and staff at MSU's three human health colleges are focusing attention on the pediatric care needs of the community," MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. "Educating the next generation of health care workers goes hand in hand with our mission to improve the health of the community we call home."
Simon said the introduction of the CareMatch for Kids service is another expansion of the already strong partnership between MSU and Sparrow. Currently, more than 80 Sparrow, MSU and private practice and other physicians and providers partner to provide comprehensive pediatric care to mid-Michigan's young patients across 31 different medical subspecialties.
Additionally, Sparrow Children's Center offers the region's only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Rehabilitation program, and in conjunction with MSU HealthTeam physicians, the region's only full service pediatric emergency room, and Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
MSU and Sparrow have a long history of working together, including a formal affiliation agreement signed in 2009 outlining steps to significantly improve mid-Michigan's health care by expanding research, medical education and clinical services.