Obviously critical to pediatric telemedicine is finding the right doctor for your child. It should be one of your priorities especially if you are new parents. In fact, you should start looking for one at least three months before you’re due to give birth. Ask for recommendations from relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other doctors. You could also look into enlisting a family physician, who does not just care for children but patients of all ages. However, as pediatricians specialize in kids, they tend to have a deeper understanding of their overall health needs.
Benefits of pediatric telemedicine
Other than the obvious benefit of less exposure to COVID-19, it has risen in popularity over the past years. As a result, children had improved healthcare access, better disease management and proper monitoring of health conditions.
A study found that the pandemic highlighted how helpful it is for patients with underrepresented backgrounds. Yet another study revealed that telemedicine services were just as good or even better than face-to-face visits.
In addition, experts believe that kids fare better when they are allowed to stay in familiar environments with their families and support systems.
Important things to look out for in pediatric telemedicine
As with many things, not all pediatric telehealth providers are created equal.
Here’s a list of things to keep in mind:
- Telemedicine providers can’t replace your pediatrician. They should, however, collaborate to bring your child the best care possible.
- Providers should have experience treating kids. Pediatric telemedicine providers should have training in child health problems and treatments.
- Consultations should be private. The patient and provider should be able to see each other. But as much as possible, don’t include other people who aren’t directly involved in the visit.
- An adult should be present. As parents, we are primarily responsible for our kids’ welfare. On the other hand, parents should encourage teens to have a more active role in their healthcare.
- Providers should follow up with you and the pediatrician. If your provider and pediatrician are not the same person, the former should supply the doctor with information about the visit, including any recommended follow-ups.
- Equipment should be suitable for kids. In pediatric telemedicine, special cameras, devices, and health monitoring equipment should be usable for kids. People handling the equipment should have some level of training to use it properly. Consult with the doctor about what tools you need and how they can reach your home.
- Telehealth providers should run tests/exams. The provider should examine or run tests on your child before prescribing any medication or treatment. Your pediatrician may give you test procedure referrals.
- Providers should judge if a face-to-face visit is necessary. Your provider must be able to know if your child requires a more in-depth assessment. This is in cases where the child is too sick to be treated through telemedicine consultations.