Video Visits with Your Pediatrician: When is Telemedicine a Good Option for My Child?

Published on in CHOP News

What is a telemedicine video visit?

Father and daughter doing video checkup on tablet A telemedicine visit (also called telehealth or video visits) is an online visit where you connect with your child’s clinical team face-to-face, in real time without leaving your home. Your family uses a smartphone to meet your physician via a secure and HIPAA compliant connection on MyCHOP. Telehealth visits can also be done via a tablet.

Benefits of video visits

The availability of video visits has been shown to increase patient satisfaction and decrease missed appointments, improving care as a result. When appropriate, video visits may provide you and your child access to the high level of care CHOP is known for, from the comfort of your home. Families who have used telehealth have noted benefits like not needing to drive to an appointment or find parking, the ability to maintain physical distancing, minimizing exposure to other sick children, and not needing to miss work.

Here, we provide some details on the benefits of primary care video visits and which health issues might be best for a visit via video. Please ask your provider if a video visit is right for your child’s health issue and care needs. You should also check with your health plan to make sure your insurance covers video visits with your CHOP provider.

What is telemedicine used for?

Primary care providers can use telemedicine video visits to “see” their patients for a wide variety of chief complaints. Video visits allow the pediatrician to lay eyes on the child to assess the child’s general appearance and overall well-being. This visual evaluation is often considered the most important part of a pediatric physical exam.

Video visits may allow us to see patients that would otherwise be unable to come into the office for an in-person visit and, therefore, potentially increase access to the care that we are able to provide.

We may be able to use digital health tools to:

  • Help parents decide whether their child needs to be seen in-person and, if so, when
  • Diagnose and treat less urgent complaints, potentially detect more serious problems earlier, and provide effective counseling
  • Prevent patients from seeking a higher level of care when it may not be needed
  • Offer a convenient and easy way for patients and parents to have follow-up visits for many common pediatric concerns and conditions  

We may be able to offer primary care video visits for the below list of concerns provided they can be evaluated safely. Video visits may be offered for other issues, depending on the circumstance. Your provider will determine if a video visit is right for your child’s health issue and care needs. 

Possible telemedicine uses

Behavioral health

  • Sleep concerns
  • School problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Toilet training concerns

Dermatology**

  • General rash (no fever, otherwise well)
  • Diaper rash
  • Eczema
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Ringworm
  • Minor cuts, burns, bites
  • Acne
  • Birthmarks

Infectious disease

  • Minor skin infections, such as cellulitis (no fever)
  • Pink eye, stye
  • Colds without breathing problems or ear pain
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Urinary infection concern for a toilet-trained child if specimen is collected and dropped off prior to the visit

Allergy

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Sinus congestion

GI/Nutrition

  • Breastfeeding questions or concerns
  • Diarrhea (non-bloody, no fever)
  • Reflux follow-up
  • Obesity/Eating disorder follow-up
  • Picky eater/general feeding questions or concerns

Follow up

  • ADHD (home weight recommended prior to visit)
  • Asthma
  • Hospital admission/ED visit, as appropriate
  • Concussion (not recommended for clearance)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Fussy baby/colic
  • Lab studies

Other

  • Driver’s permit clearance

**For all dermatologic conditions, photographs must be uploaded to MyCHOP prior to the appointment. This ensures image clarity and the ability for the physician to view the condition ahead of time and request an in-person visit if necessary.


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