New Neuro NICU Telehealth Program at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital Allows Pediatric Experts to Better Care for Ill, Injured Babies

Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital is extending the expertise of doctors in its neonatal intensive care unit neurology program to help babies in other Intermountain Health hospitals, thanks to a new telehealth service that is the first of its kind in Utah.

The new Neuro NICU telehealth service allows neurologists at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital to monitor babies in real time and recommend treatments to be performed by caregivers at four Level III neonatal intensive care units in Utah and one in Billings Montana.  

This new system standardizes care for babies with complex brain anomalies and injuries, or those who are at high risk of developing them. 

The Neuro NICU’s remote EEG technology allows pediatric neurologists to give babies the same continuous seizure monitoring that they provide to infants being cared for at Primary Children’s Hospital. 

This is the first time that such monitoring, made possible through enhanced technology, has been available in Utah and is part of Intermountain’s nationally-renowned telehealth services. 

“All the babies in the NICU at Primary Children’s come from other hospitals,” said Betsy Ostrander, MD, a pediatric neurologist with University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. “The Neuro NICU telehealth service allows caregivers at other hospitals to quickly contact neurologists at Primary Children’s when they have questions about the infant’s wellbeing. It helps us quickly assess the patient’s needs, support the clinical team and patient family, and make a smoother transition if the patient needs to be transferred to Primary Children’s for additional care.”  
This collaboration also helps improve caregiver skills because they are helping babies who in the past would have been transferred to Primary Children’s Hospital for care.

“Doctors and nurses in NICUs already have a high level of skill because of the complex nature of the babies they treat, and this is another way to expand on what they already know,” said Dr. Ostrander.

Telehealth programs help improve care at hospitals while keeping costs lower because they provide remote access to experts without having them physically on site. They can also reduce the need to transport a patient, which can be complicated and costly. 

Intermountain’s telehealth programs have been recognized nationally as an industry leader in changing how and where patients receive care. 

These services are part of Intermountain Health’s Primary Promise to create the nation’s model health system for children. Primary Promise is a philanthropic endeavor of at least $600 million – $500 million of which has been secured – that will strengthen Primary Children’s Hospital, address kids’ emerging health needs, and expand access to pediatric care throughout the Intermountain West.



Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital is extending the expertise of physicians in its neonatal intensive care unit neurology program through a first of its kind telehealth service.