How to Provide Pediatric Telemedicine

Pediatric Telemedicine

Pediatric Telemedicine for Parents and Providers

For the past three years, the number of telemedicine users has increased. Whether you want specialists or a GP, virtual services have been able to provide. But lately, a new demographic has entered the world of remote healthcare. Because children need their own treatment, pediatric telemedicine is on the rise. 

Thanks to improvements in technology kids can get the best medical care at any distance. On top of that, new policies and regulations lay the groundwork for new virtual services. Since pediatric care is here to stay, providers have rebuilt their service around a lasting remote impact [1]. All they have to do now is account for young users.

Pediatric telemedicine takes care and precision to implement. Thankfully, small adjustments ensure the best quality of care for children. And Beam is here to outline these basics of virtual pediatric care. 

Supplement In-Person Care

Let’s get the biggest question surrounding pediatric telemedicine out of the way. Can virtual services replace walk-in treatment? While remote platforms cover a wide range of services, they can’t replace in-person care. Instead, telemedicine works with conventional services to bring about the best results.

As it stands, experts are still researching resource allocation. How much support telemedicine requires as opposed to walk-in care is still an open question [2]. While this can be frustrating, it gives providers one reliable strategy in the short term. Practices can focus on the areas where telemedicine streamlines care, taking the strain off of in-person clinics. 

With pediatric telemedicine, you can conduct follow-ups and discussions on lab results from home. On top of that, parents can send diagnoses and medical information ahead of a consult. After a session begins, home telemedicine kits allow practices to run basic tests at a distance. While none of these services are unique to virtual care, telemedicine makes them easier to manage.

On the flip side, there are times when a child needs to see a doctor in person. Surgeries and more intensive tests demand a hospital visit. Additionally, some children are too sick for only remote treatment. This is especially true when a patient has a long-term pediatrician they already know. In these cases, remote providers should cooperate with parents and prior pediatricians. 

Although pediatric telemedicine changes how practices offer care, some older strategies are worthwhile. That’s why sharing the burden with existing infrastructure provides the best possible treatment. 

Pediatric Telemedicine and Home Kits

Once practices open their doors to young patients, they need the right tools. Chief among them, providers need to restock their home telemedicine kits. These kits generally fit into a one-size-fits-all model. But when offering pediatric telemedicine, generics kits aren’t the right size for children. 

As a result, practices need to find home telemedicine kits designed for use by children. Unless they’re sized to the patient, blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters can give inaccurate results. Incorrect results can skew diagnoses and treatment strategies for the worse. So, like with any other kind of care, the right tools ensure precision and accuracy. 

Train for Pediatric Telemedicine

Providing remote treatment is a skillset in itself. Making the most of your technology, navigating workflows, and fixing software problems takes time. But just because you understand the tools, that doesn’t mean you can use them with anyone. That’s why virtual service for children requires extra training.

Online providers with a pediatric background can skip this step. But for clinicians used to working with adults, young patients pose new challenges. Everything from a session’s flow to how you speak can change depending on the patient’s age. And to provide the best treatment, these adjustments are non-negotiable. 

Providers working with children need to stress simple communication strategies. On top of that, symptoms you might dismiss with an adult could point to different problems with younger patients. Practices can pair experienced pediatricians with other specialists to share this knowledge. While the training might take time, it leads to vastly improved sessions.

Keep Guardians on the Call

Telemedicine’s success is contingent on patient privacy. Most platforms address this by incorporating HIPAA compliance and security measures into their software. But a patient’s ability to host a video chat from a secure location is important, too. Of course, when it comes to pediatric telemedicine, children can’t speak with a provider on their own.

Unlike standard telemedicine calls, parents or caregivers should be present with their children during a video chat [3]. Not only will they help with using a home kit, but they can describe symptoms in greater detail. While there are situations where a child can legally consent to their own care, this represents a minority of virtual sessions. In general, a responsible adult will ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

Pediatric telemedicine will bring treatments to children who need them the most. And to make this easier for providers, Beam is willing to do its part. Right now, we offer a free year of service to qualifying clinics that offer mental health care. Click here to learn more about our commitment to remote healthcare. 

Sources:

[1]https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/148/3/e2020047795/179707/Pediatric-Telehealth-in-the-COVID-19-Pandemic-Era

[2] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fped.2021.642089/full

[3]https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/Pages/Telehealth-Services-for-Children.aspx

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