NEW: Virtual Visits
Update as of March 23rd:
We have had success so far with virtual sick visits, and are fully committed to providing this service for all initial sick visits at this time.
We have learned a few things so far and wanted to remind you of some logistics regarding upcoming Virtual Visits. (see below)
In response to the COVID-19 outbreaks, we are quickly making the option available for video visits with our providers from your cell phone or computer. Our hope is to provide the best care we can in the safest manner possible for all patients and staff.
Here are some tips on what to expect for your virtual visit:
Virtual visits with a provider will be scheduled over the phone with one of our staff members.
Prior to your appointment, you will receive a text or email inviting you to your appointment. When you click on the link, you will be directed to a “virtual waiting room”. When the provider is ready to see you, they will initiate a secure, HIPPA compliant video link in a private room with the door closed. Your privacy and confidentiality will be maintained as if you were in the office.
If you are using a computer, Google Chrome or Firefox work best. Safari also works and easily connects via smartphone.
Please set up your video in a quiet place with good lighting. And enable your microphone and camera on the device used for your virtual visit.
Please have your child with you and in close proximity as the provider will need to see the child during the virtual visit.
Please dress your child in easy to remove clothing. The provider may want to assess a child’s breathing rate or look at their skin. If the quality of the video connection is very good, it will make the providers ability to assess your child easier. Please plan for these small details ahead of time.
Please have a flashlight or camera light available to look into your child’s throat.
If you have the ability to weigh your child and take their temperature prior to your visit it can be helpful information. Do not worry if it is not possible. In most cases, the provider can make their assessment without this information.
There are certain things that are simply not able to be evaluated via video, but we will make every effort to accommodate most visits via video visit. We will remain open and providing in-office care to those that require it. If during your visit, the provider feels you should be seen in the office, details for that appointment will be arranged.
Because these are medical visits that are with a provider, your insurance will be billed for the service provided. If you have a copay, that will be billed separately to you. If a virtual visit turns into an office visit with Annapolis Pediatrics, you will only be billed once for both services. If multiple children are evaluated during the visit, each child’s visit will be billed separately.
Any prescriptions that are necessary will be transmitted directly to the pharmacy via our electronic service. Given the amount of closures among local businesses, please make sure your pharmacy is open and accepting prescriptions prior to your visit.
Here at Annapolis Pediatrics, it is our mission to provide exceptional care to every patient and we believe switching to virtual visits at this time helps to accomplish that goal. Please be patient with us while we all learn new technology and workflows in this challenging time.
VIRTUAL VISITS: Understanding Your Care
The providers here at Annapolis Pediatrics remain committed to providing exceptional care, despite the changing circumstances around us. Our intent over the coming days and weeks is for ALL sick visits to be Virtual Visits. We may not have all of the usual tools at our disposal, but we still have our eyes to see your child, and our ears to listen carefully to your story.
Here are a few medical facts to keep in mind about pediatrics:
Not all sore throat is strep:
Less than 20% of sore throats are caused by strep throat. If your child has cough and congestion without fever, as well as a sore throat, it is unlikely to be caused by strep. Your Virtual Visit provider would be unlikely to treat a sore throat as strep in this situation. Sore throat with fever, lack of appetite and NO congestion may more likely be strep. Your provider may decide, based on symptoms and a flashlight held up to your child’s throat, what the safest course of action will be.
Not all ear pain is bacterial ear infection:
In many countries, ear infections are NOT treated with antibiotics as often as we do here, with the same outcomes of days of ear pain and other parameters. If your child is sleeping well, does not have a fever and is over 2 years of age, among various factors, it is quite safe to treat ear pain with ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Your provider will consider all factors, including your child’s history of ear infection, in order to provide the safest treatment for ear pain.
Not all cough is COVID-19!!:
Although we have reached the stage in this pandemic where we need to treat cough and fever seriously, and consider COVID-19 as a source, children are going to continue to have ALL the same viruses we see all year! Our providers are just as concerned about evaluating other sources of cough and fever. Please remember that COVID-19 or not, the clinical care of your child is most important. Just having a test will NOT change the fact that we will be vigilant to evaluate respiratory distress as we always have.
Please be patient with us as we all adjust to this new way of working together with you to provide exceptional care to all of our patients and families.