Children and Telehealth: How to Prepare for an Online Appointment

Both patients and health care providers have been increasing the use of telehealth visits in recent years. These virtual appointments allow health care professionals to provide excellent care without being in the same room as a patient. Telehealth became the norm during the COVID19 pandemic, and you have likely had a telehealth appointment of your own.

But how does telemedicine work for kids? Whether your child needs a telehealth appointment for mental or physical health, it can be difficult to know how to prepare. With a few tips and tricks, you and your child can have a productive and successful telehealth appointment.

Pick the Right Time of Day for the Appointment

When possible, try to schedule your child’s telehealth appointment according to their routine. For example, avoid visits during naptime or mealtimes. Doing so can help your child avoid meltdowns from being overly tired or hungry.

Gather All Necessary Supplies Before the Visit

Your health care provider many need you to have a few items during the appointment. Furthermore, there may be a few things your child needs to remain calm. To help your child’s telehealth visit go smoothly, make sure you have everything you might need beforehand. Consider preparing the following items:

  • Your pharmacy’s information
  • A list of questions for your provider
  • A list of your child’s medications and supplements
  • A scale or note of your child’s weight
  • A thermometer
  • A comfort item for your child (blanket, toy, etc.)
  • Flashlight to look down your child’s throat
  • The technology you need to connect to the provider

Test Your Device and Software

Your child’s telehealth appointment will most likely require you to have video conferencing technology installed on an internet-connected device. The device can be a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, so long as it can run the appropriate software and have a video camera.

Check with your child’s health care provider to see what software you will need. Then download the recommended software. You may want to test everything out before the appointment. These steps can help ensure that everyone is focused on the child’s needs, rather than trying to troubleshoot the technology.

Discuss the Upcoming Telehealth Visit with Your Child

It’s important to help your child know what to expect during the call as much as possible. Depending on your child’s communication abilities, you may be able to just talk to them about the call a few days in advance. If your child is younger or noncommunicative, you may try videoconferencing with friends and family before the telehealth appointment. Doing so can help your child understand how it works.

Complete Forms in Advance

As with in-person pediatric health care appointments, you will likely need to fill out a few forms for your child’s telehealth appointment. For example, you may need to provide insurance updates, since many insurance companies cover telehealth these days. In most cases, you will likely need to complete a form that gives the health care provider permission to treat your child over telehealth.

Choose the Right Spot for the Appointment

In order to protect your child’s health information, be sure you take the call in a private area, preferably in your home. Whatever room you have the visit in should have plenty of light and little noise. Just before the appointment, be sure to turn off any loud distractions, such as the television.

If your child needs mental or behavioral health care, contact PsyCare today. We accept most insurance plans for telehealth appointments and make the process seamless for your family.