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Leading the Way in Trusted, Time-Saving Telehealth for Kids

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when clinics closed despite high demand from patients, health care systems all over the country scrambled to organize remote visits.

At Nemours Children’s, we were already up and running.

We got our head start in 2015 — five years before the first U.S.  cases of COVID-19 were discovered. We had already realized that new technologies could make life much easier for our pediatric patients, their parents, and providers. Today, we have one of the nation’s most sophisticated and efficient telehealth systems.

A dedicated 15-member urgent-care team — 13 physicians and two nurse practitioners — now answers calls seven days a week, from morning to evening. All are Nemours employees, meaning you can count on their professional quality and access to relevant medical records. We’ve also trained providers throughout our system to practice a hybrid of remote and in-person visits.

“Very early on, we asked families: Would you be interested in this? How could this help you?” says Joanne Murren-Boezem, MD, director of our telehealth urgent care program.

Video visits let your child see his or her health care provider by smartphone, tablet or computer. You can avoid missing work and driving long distances, and your child doesn’t have to miss school or travel if he or she is ill or be exposed to other sick kids. You can get care on your schedule, at night, on weekends or on holidays.

For our remote-work providers, telehealth means less time commuting and more time for family and self-care. And researchers have found that video visits can save money and stress by reducing trips to emergency departments and helping busy doctors get hospital patients discharged earlier. 

They can also help keep our patients healthier. Some providers find benefits in seeing a child’s home environment. A nutritionist can look into the pantry or refrigerator. A behavioral health provider can see if the child acts differently at home than in the office.

Our urgent care telehealth team members are licensed to see patients in seven states, and we’re partnering with other health systems so that our specialists can work with community hospitals that may lack expertise. We’ve also created telemedicine guidelines to standardize our care as we hire new providers. It’s important to know when a video visit isn’t appropriate — for instance for an infant with an eye infection, which should be treated immediately. We’ve even created special telehealth curriculum for our pediatric residency program at Nemours Childrens Hospital, Florida in Orlando. 

As other forms of digital health care come on the market, such as home tests for strep throat and portable monitors for diabetes care, we’re working to make sure we can integrate them seamlessly, providing maximum convenience and ease for our patients and their families. Telehealth is here to stay, and at Nemours, we’re still leading the way.

Download the Nemours app  and schedule an urgent care telehealth visit to diagnose an eye, skin or breathing problem. You can also see a provider by video to follow up on a primary care or specialty care visit, have a well-child checkup, get behavioral health care and receive health education on topics such as nutrition, breastfeeding, or how to use an inhaler.