|Virtual care at SickKids||3889.00000000000||Virtual care at SickKids||Virtual care at SickKids||V||English||NA||Child (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)||NA||NA||NA||Adult (19+)
Caregivers||NA||2020-09-03T04:00:00Z||10.8000000000000||52.6000000000000||1500.00000000000||Flat Content||Health A-Z||<p>Learn about virtual care visits, how to prepare for one and what to expect during a virtual appointment.</p>||<figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/katelyn%20ophthalmology%20resized.png" alt="A virtual eye appointment from the health-care practitioner's perspective" /></figure>
<h2>What is virtual care?</h2><p>Virtual care is a way of providing health care remotely using technology, such as a telephone, computer or other mobile device. A virtual visit with a health-care provider or health-care team can take place over the phone or a video calling platform instead of in-person at the hospital. It provides another option for you to connect with your clinical team when an in-person visit is not available, convenient or safe.</p><p>Virtual care can be a helpful alternative to in-person appointments for non-urgent visits, and during a pandemic such as <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/COVID-19">COVID-19</a>.
<strong>Virtual appointments should not be used as substitutes for in-person visits in cases where you/your child need to have a minor procedure, certain types of bloodwork or for emergencies.</strong> Your clinical team will work with you to decide whether your appointment needs to be in person or can be done virtually.</p>||<h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Virtual care is a way of providing health care remotely using technology, such as a telephone, computer or other mobile device.</li><li>You will need a space that is quiet, private, well-lit and comfortable, and a reliable internet and/or phone connection, to attend a virtual care visit.</li><li>Virtual visits can reduce travel to the hospital, minimize wait times and allow for physical distancing of non-urgent hospital appointments.</li><li>Virtual appointments cannot be used as substitutes for emergencies or in-person procedures.</li><li>Your child’s clinical team will provide you with instructions on how to join your virtual visit well in advance of your appointment.</li></ul>||<h2>What are the benefits of virtual care?</h2><p>Virtual care can be convenient, timely and safe. Appointments done over the phone, computer or a mobile device reduce the need to travel to the hospital and can minimize the wait time for clinic appointments. They also allow for physical distancing during a pandemic like COVID-19.</p><h2>Is virtual care safe?</h2><p>Your privacy is very important to the clinical team. Similar to any in-person visit, they will make it a priority to ensure that any information you give to them during a virtual appointment is kept confidential and secure. Any personal or health information collected during your virtual appointment is used to provide care for your child in accordance with the <em><a href="https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/04p03">Personal Health Information Protection Act</a></em>.</p><p>While the clinical team will do their best to protect the privacy and security of your health information, electronic communications such as email, Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) and Zoom, are never completely secure. There is an increased security risk that your health information may be intercepted or disclosed to third parties when using video or audio communications tools.</p><p>To help the clinical team keep your information safe, it is recommended that you do the following:</p><ul><li>Use your own personal computer or device.</li><li>Use a secure internet connection at home. Avoid using an internet connection in a public area, such as an airport, store, restaurant or library.</li><li>Use your personal e-mail, not a work email address, and make sure the clinical team has your correct email address.</li><li>Choose a private space where your discussions with your provider will not be overheard.</li></ul><p>When participating in virtual care, you will be sharing your child’s personal health information with their clinical team through video or audio communications, which might include email, videoconferencing (Zoom, OTN, etc.) or text messages. If you receive an email or electronic communication and are not sure if it is coming from your child’s clinical team at SickKids, please do not click on any links and contact the clinical team to verify the communication came from SickKids.</p><h2>How much will a virtual visit cost?</h2><p>The hospital does not charge for virtual health-care visits, but your internet or cellular service providers may charge you when you use your own equipment. Contact your internet or cellular service providers to find out if you might incur charges from them.
</p><h2>Before your virtual care visit</h2><p>Your child’s clinical team will provide you with instructions on how to join your virtual appointment. You may need to download an app or online platform. The team will provide you this information well in advance of your appointment. It is also helpful to provide your child’s clinical team with a phone number where you can be contacted in case there are technical difficulties.</p><p>There are a few things you can do before your virtual appointment to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible:</p><h3>Be prepared</h3><ul><li>Think about the goals of the appointment and prepare a list of any questions you may want to ask your child’s clinical team.</li><li>Have a notebook and pen available in case you want to write information down during your child’s appointment.</li><li>Ensure your child has had all of their pre-requisite tests and procedures in advance of your virtual visit, if applicable, such as bloodwork or imaging.</li><li>Have your child’s most recent height and weight measurements available. Depending on the type of visit, your child’s clinical team may ask for other measurements as well.</li></ul><h3>Choose an appropriate environment</h3><ul><li>Choose a space that is quiet, has good lighting and is comfortable for you and your child. Turn off the TV, radio, or other sources of noise in advance so that you and your child’s clinical team can hear each other clearly.</li><li>Make sure the space you choose is private. If there are other people in the room with you and your child, tell your child’s clinical team at the beginning of the appointment.</li><li>You may want to have a table nearby in case you want to take notes during the appointment.</li><li>If your child’s clinical team needs to do an assessment of your child during the visit, make sure the space is set up so that your child can either be sitting or lying down comfortably.</li></ul><h3>Have the right technology and equipment on hand</h3><ul><li>Make sure the space you are using has access to the internet and good telephone reception.</li><li>Use a laptop, desktop or tablet with audio and video. Make sure the speakers and microphone work and the volume can be turned up if needed. You may need to attach external speakers or use headphones/ear buds if the volume on your device is not loud enough.</li><li>If you do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet, you can try using your smartphone.</li><li>Download any apps needed to for the appointment (e.g., Zoom, Pexip Infinity Connect, etc.) and test the weblink that was provided to you for the appointment.</li><li>Depending on the type of virtual care visit, your child’s clinical team may ask you to have other tools or equipment on hand as well, such as a measuring tape or ruler.</li><li>Test your equipment and audio before your appointment.</li></ul><h2>During your virtual care visit</h2>
<figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Virtual_care.jpg" alt="A virtual appointment from the patient perspective" /></figure>
<p>What happens during your child’s virtual care appointment will depend on the clinical care department running the appointment and the reason for your child’s visit. Generally, most appointments will include the following:</p><ul><li>Meeting a member/members of your child’s clinical team to discuss the reason for your child’s appointment</li><ul><li>Just like an in-person visit, there may be more than one member of your child’s clinical team attending your virtual visit. They may all call in to the visit from the same physical location (like a conference room at the hospital), or they may call in separately from different locations (like a home office or private workspace within the hospital).</li></ul><li>Taking a health and/or family history of your child</li><li>Conducting a physical and/or psychological assessment of your child</li><li>Discussing the clinical team’s recommendations and next steps</li><li>A time for you to ask questions</li></ul><h3>What if I require an interpreter?</h3><p>If you require an interpreter during your virtual visit your child’s clinical team will arrange for an interpreter to be present during the appointment.</p><h3>What if I encounter technical difficulties?</h3><p>If you experience technical difficulties during your appointment, please call your child’s clinic at the number they gave you in your appointment instructions.</p><p>Your appointment should start at the scheduled time. If you do not join the meeting shortly after its start time, your child’s clinic will call you on the phone number (or alternate number) that you provided to them in case of technical difficulties.</p><p>You can also try searching for a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for the app or online platform you are using for troubleshooting tips.</p><h2>After your virtual care visit</h2><p>After your child’s virtual care appointment is concluded you may receive:</p><ul><li>A summary of the visit, including all of the names of the health-care providers on the call, their recommendations and next steps.</li><li>An appointment date for additional tests and procedures, such as bloodwork or imaging.</li><li>An appointment date for a follow-up visit with the clinical care team.</li></ul><p>After Visit Summaries at SickKids are provided through MyChart, an online patient portal that provides patients and authorized caregivers access to parts of their SickKids’ electronic health record. For more information, or to register for MyChart, visit
<a href="https://www.sickkids.ca/patient-family-resources/mychart/index.html">https://www.sickkids.ca/patient-family-resources/mychart/index.html</a>.</p>||virtualcare||https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/katelyn%20ophthalmology%20resized.png||Virtual care at SickKids||False|