We’ve made it through the cold and flu season — just in time for the start of allergy season. Spring is notorious for bringing significant allergy symptoms regardless of geographical location, and many parents find themselves trying internet remedies to combat the effects of blooming trees and blowing pollen.
While allergy symptoms, such as itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and nausea-inducing drainage, seem benign, they can make kids feel run down. An increase in overnight nasal drainage can even lead to unpleasant morning vomiting. This leaves parents wondering if their child is simply suffering from allergies or could, in fact, be contagious. Parents begin Googling their child’s symptoms in search of ways to alleviate their discomfort and oftentimes find themselves with more questions than answers. Call volumes to your pediatric office can remain high during the spring and summer months as parents try to navigate symptomatic children with ongoing work obligations during the final quarter of school.
In the upcoming months, virtual visits can be beneficial for both your practice and your patients. But if families don’t know telemedicine is still available, then they won’t be able to take advantage of this convenient and cost-effective service. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of telemedicine during allergy season, which patients are best suited for these types of appointments, and how to get the word out to your community that your practice offers these flexible services.
What are the Benefits of Telemedicine During Allergy Season?
Typically, most allergy symptoms respond to over-the-counter therapies. However, knowing which medications can be taken together and how to dose for children requires the knowledge of an expert. As a pediatrician, you are able to provide these recommendations without needing an extensive, in-person physical exam to determine a treatment plan. By offering telehealth allergy visits, you free up space in your clinic schedule for patients who truly need to see you in the office.
In addition, telehealth appointments can also save patients time and make getting medical care easier. Your patients’ parents are probably saving their paid time off for summer vacations rather than impromptu doctor visits, so a telemedicine visit is a great option. In short, allergy concerns are the perfect reason for a telehealth appointment.
Which Patients Can Utilize Virtual Visits During Allergy Season?
To be honest, we think all allergy sufferers can benefit from virtual appointments. More specifically, telehealth visits for allergies may be the right option for patients who:
- Want to request a prescription, refill, or over-the-counter recommendation for an allergy relief medication
- Have questions about their current allergy medicine
- Have developed a new non-emergency allergy symptom
- Are experiencing a non-emergency side effect to an allergy medication
- Are scheduling a routine follow-up that they’ve already discussed with you at a previous encounter
Furthermore, an initial telemedicine evaluation can help you and your patients determine the difference between allergy symptoms and symptoms that require an additional work-up or an in-person office visit.
How Do I Market Telehealth for Seasonal Allergies?
By now, patients have come to expect that their healthcare providers offer some type of virtual appointments. However, there’s not a universal telemedicine platform all medical professionals use. This can make it confusing for patients who see multiple providers, especially if those clinicians are employing different telehealth applications. Providing patient education on how to access your platform is important for ensuring that your patients experience a successful virtual appointment. When you partner with Anytime Pediatrics, we help you share this information with patients by providing templates that you can use for your social media accounts, website pages, and email newsletters.
Your practice can also leverage its online presence to provide education on both virtual services and allergy relief tips. For example, you can share medical information and articles about common seasonal viruses versus allergies. It’s also helpful to regularly post information about your telehealth program, including:
- If and when you offer virtual walk-in visits
- How to register for the telehealth platform
- How to schedule telemedicine visits
- Which types of visits are appropriate for telemedicine
Finally, email marketing can be an excellent tool to regularly distribute newsletters that pertain to the allergy seasons. You can also send email reminders about available allergy services and health-related tips and tricks to implement during spring and summer. Additionally, SMS services are convenient for delivering appointment reminders — and reminders on how to access virtual appointments — via text messages.
Take the Next Step with Anytime Pediatrics
Are you interested in learning more about how you can better serve your patients with allergies and improve their experiences with telemedicine appointments? If you do not yet have a telehealth platform, Anytime Pediatrics is ready to assist your practice with implementing one. For more information, contact us today to request a consultation!