Dr. Kohler is a Pediatric Surgeon, and the director of the Pediatric Trauma Program at the American Family Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kohler established the first tele-mentoring platform for physicians in the state of Wisconsin. This platform helps improve the working knowledge of rural physicians in caring for children by connecting them with pediatric subspecialists. Thus instead of moving patients around the state, the platform moves knowledge instead enabling pediatric patient to receive a higher level of care near their homs.
Dr. Kohler is one of the two inaugural winners of a research grant from the CCK Because of McKenah Fund. The following is a summary of his project.
The overall objective of this project is to develop a tele-mentoring program that will leverage the pediatric specialists at the University of Wisconsin and the American Family Children’s Hospital to help primary care doctors deliver best care to children. This program is modeled on Project ECHO (echo.unm.edu), an internationally adopted model of tele-mentoring wherein specialist centers (the “hub”) host regular teleconferences with community primary care providers (the “spokes”). Each session consists of a short didactic presentation by the hub, followed by case presentations by the spokes where experts and community members alike can share their experiences
Through this approach we have for the first time the means to conduct an educational intervention throughout the entire state and then measure and report the subsequent change in practice. This will achieve the dual goals of improving the education of our primary providers while reducing the risks and improving the safety for our children. Upon completion of this study we will apply the same approach to other common pediatric surgical problems thereby providing a platform for continuous healthcare improvement that does not exist anywhere else in the world.
As he said during his interview: “We will use these funds to better understand the needs of rural physicians so that we can better meet their needs and by doing so reduce the incidence of unnecessary surgery”
CCK will provide a majority of the funding ($20,000) to support this study which will be critical for unnecessary surgery in children.