Pediatricians are getting creative to try to provide needed care to children whose parents are leery to take their kids outside.
Specifically, DeSoto and Senatobia Children’s Clinics are now offering telemedicine so parents and children can “see” their pediatrician, using a phone, smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
Telemedicine is defined as the practice of using technology to deliver medical advice from a distance. Patients can connect to providers through a dedicated portal, and with an internet connection and device with audio/video capabilities, families can actually “see” their pediatricians.
Using telemedicine, medical staff can continue to provide care to their patients, including providing urgent care recommendations, treatments, and other crucial services through digital means, when patients are unable to make an in-person visit.
“Telemedicine is very exciting for us because we always put our patients and families first and this just gives them one more option to be safe and healthy,” said Dr. Desh Sidhu, a pediatrician and founder of DeSoto and Senatobia Children’s Clinics. “Anyone with a computer, or even just a phone, can speak to one of our providers to get advice on their child’s healthcare.”
DeSoto and Senatobia Children’s clinics have adapted to COVID-19 by introducing telemedicine and by changing how the clinics are set up. The adjustments to the daily operations include:
• Checking temperatures and asking questions at the entrances of each clinic.
• Encouraging people to wait in their cars until their pediatrician is ready to see them.
• Seeing well appointments in the mornings and sick appointments in the afternoons.
• Offering separate waiting areas for sick and well patients.
• New, advanced cleaning procedures for sterilizing each office as well as exam rooms and all public areas.
While adding telemedicine as an option, DeSoto and Senatobia Children’s Clinics are still encouraging families to bring their children in for well visits and vaccinations. Public health experts have raised concerns about the possibility of a resurgence of preventable diseases like measles if children miss these crucial, scheduled vaccinations.
Additionally, many medical professionals are worried that when children miss or skip their well visits, developmental delays may go unnoticed and doctors will lose the opportunity to ask about other struggles or problems in the home that can strain families.
Dr. Sidhu is encouraging parents to bring kids in for their shots.
“A lot of well care is just speaking with our patients and families,” said Dr. Sidhu. “And it’s important for the doctors to see their patients growth at regular intervals. Some things are just best done in person, like treating serious illnesses, having well check-ups, administering vaccinations, and conducting school/camp physicals.”