Telemedicine surged this past year. Analysts say virtual healthcare will top 1 billion visits this year. But is it right for everyone? Parents may wonder if an online pediatrician is a good choice.
Telemedicine (TM) is a great resource for most people, even parents. Online doctors treat many pediatric health concerns through video visits. Yet, some cases require an in-person physical exam. When in doubt, the doctor, or their team, can help parents decide what is best for each situation.
Those who are curious about online pediatrician appointments should read on. Here we share why you should book an online pediatrician visit.
Online pediatrician visits can be a good choice. For instance, a recent pediatric study found that TM lowers lowers healthcare costs raising patient satisfaction. Easy access to doctors from the safety and comfort of home is invaluable. TM is an innovative solution to one of parenting's great challenges: a sick child.
Before booking an online pediatrician appointment, follow these steps.
Ask your doctor if TM is a good idea when you have a problem. In some cases, a doctor may want to see your child in person. In-office exams allow doctors to use instruments. Some tests cannot be conducted through a video screen.
Your doctor may also have a list online showing which concerns they can treat through online appointments.
To book an online pediatrician visit, you must have the equipment and connection to meet with the doctor. In other words, if you are booking a visit with a tablet or cellphone, make sure you have a strong signal and full bars. At home, log in to WiFi to get the best video quality.
Also, check with your doctor to find out what platform they use. Some have a mobile app. Others may want you to download the software before the visit.
It is good to arrive for your TM visit 10-15 minutes early. Log in ahead of time, so you don't feel rushed and can figure it out. You'll also have time to troubleshoot technical issues before the doctor arrives.
When deciding if you should book an online appointment, the last thing to think about is which provider to use. Each office has cost, appointment times, and patient reviews that vary.
A recent article by CNBC warned that TM is in high demand. Some will have longer wait times. Check your doctor's availability ahead of time. A little online research can go a long way to helping parents find the right online doctor.
Pediatricians can treat many common problems with a video consultation. Some concerns that are easily evaluated in a virtual visit are:
If you are unsure, check with your doctor. They can let you know the best choice for you.
In some cases doctors may need more tests. When a pediatrician needs more tools to treat a sick child, they may refer parents to an in-person visit or urgent care.
Some doctors' offices, like My Virtual Physician, work with local partners. They can arrange lab tests by sending an order to a laboratory. Later, they can review the results with the patient over video.
Telemedicine providers can arrange X-rays or other diagnostic tests this way too.
In some cases, online doctors prescribe medication. Online pediatricians can fax refills to local pharmacies. During the TM visit, online pediatricians will explain the treatment plan and any instructions to parents, just like in-person appointments.
Not all problems are best solved by an online appointment. Here are a few reasons to check with your doctor before booking an online pediatric appointment.
When a child needs in-person medical attention, but you can't book an appointment with a pediatrician, an urgent care center or emergency room may be the best option.
Dr. Ayyagari is a board-certified pediatrician of 20 years. She is licensed in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, and Florida and is accepting new patients. Click "BOOK APPOINTMENT NOW" to book an appointment. Or let us know if you have questions about your child. We are standing by to help.