By Mick Connors, M.D.
Telemedicine is a hot topic right now. Are you getting the same emails I do? Have a cold, see a doctor online now! Have a rash, see a doctor online now! Think you’re getting the flu? See a doctor online now!
Why the telemedicine hype? Because telemedicine makes healthcare more convenient, accessible, and affordable. In some ways, it’s like the phone calls you’ve undoubtedly made to your pediatrician’s office over the years, but with the added (and awesome!) benefit of face time. With telemedicine, your physician not only hears your concerns, but also sees you and your child. A virtual visit enables your pediatrician or primary care doctor to provide care and offer advice in a whole new, better way.
Why not telemedicine? Telemedicine should help you connect with your regular pediatrician or another local pediatrician you can trust. If you don’t know or have confidence in the doctor you’ll be seeing, or if you’re not sure a virtual visit is the right path forward, call your doctor for guidance. Hopefully, he/she has a telemedicine program and can offer you a virtual visit. If not, he/she can help you determine if you need to head to the urgent care or ER, or if you should come in for an office visit.
How to use telemedicine. Begin by asking your regular pediatrician if he/she offers telemedicine. If you decide to look to Google for help and end up on a telemedicine platform your doctor isn’t a part of, be wise. You’ll want to make sure the provider you’re seeing is trained to care for children; licensed in the state where you are; doesn’t offer antibiotics unless your child has been properly evaluated; and doesn’t offer to prescribe opioids online. In a nutshell: My advice is to always ask your regular pediatrician or primary care provider before going to any place that offers care to your child. Your doctor will know the best place for your child to be seen, if they can’t see your child themselves.
Want to learn more about telemedicine and how Anytime Pediatrics can connect you and your regular pediatrician in a new way, visit our FAQ section.