Telehealth: Providing Best Outcomes for Children During COVID-19
Mar 31, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the way we live our daily lives, one thing remains true – Nationwide Children’s Hospital is adapting and innovating so you/your child receives uninterrupted care. We’re doing this through telehealth visits.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth means having a visit with your health care provider using technology so you and your child can remain at home and still receive the medical care you need. Telehealth can be done on the phone or by a video call, similar to how many of you might be using Apple FaceTime or Facebook Messenger today. We are offering telehealth visits for most outpatient services. Your health care provider will help determine if telehealth is appropriate for you. By using telehealth services, we hope to further slow the spread of COVID-19.
How Does It Work?
Nationwide Children’s Hospital will work with you to schedule an appointment for a phone or video visit. Video visits will be done using Zoom, a free video conferencing service, and your MyChart account.
Are Telehealth Visits Covered by My Insurance?
Nationwide Children’s is dedicated to keeping patients safe and meeting their clinical needs using telehealth services during the pandemic. Following our mission, our intent is to provide all services, if possible, regardless of insurance or ability to pay.
Most insurance companies and state regulations have expanded the use of telehealth (including phone visits) due to the current national state of emergency. Nationwide Children’s may bill your insurance for these services.
What Equipment Do I Need to Be Able to Do a Telehealth Video Visit?
You need the following to be able to participate in a telehealth video visit:
A Wi-Fi or cellular internet connection
A smartphone or a computer with working camera, microphone and speaker
Zoom, an application that can be downloaded to your smartphone or accessed via computer here
A MyChart account, an application that can be downloaded to your smartphone or accessed via computer here
*Please note: If you do not currently have a MyChart account, click here to register and request an activation code. It may take 1 to 2 business days to receive an activation code via email.
Is Video Telehealth Secure?
A new phrase, “Zoom-bombing” or Zoom hacking has been making headlines as more people use the app. The Nationwide Children’s corporate accounts with Zoom are fully HIPAA-compliant and protected from Zoom-bombing, unauthorized release of personal information, or other privacy/security concerns you might have heard about. We initiate your telehealth visits through our corporate accounts, so the visit is secure – even if you have a personal free Zoom account.
Are There Tips for Making Sure the Telehealth Visits Go Smoothly?
Yes. Please make sure you/your child:
Are in a quiet, private place
Are in a room with good lighting so your provider can see you
Do not have your mute button on
Use the best internet available (close all other windows or other apps)
Have a full charge on your smartphone or computer – if not, please plug it in
You should log in to your/your child’s MyChart account 15 minutes before the visit and click on Echeck-in. Follow the prompts on the personal information, consent forms and health insurance pages. Click here for step-by-step instructions or watch this video to see how a telehealth visit works.
Click here for step-by-step instructions in Spanish
Click here for step-by-step instructions in Arabic
Click here for step-by-step instructions in Nepali
Click here for step-by-step instructions in Somali
Once you’ve completed check-in, click the “Begin Video Visit” button. You will be connected to your health care provider once they join the Zoom session.
Will Telehealth Visits Continue to Be an Option After the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Passed?
We always want to ensure the highest quality care and safety for you/your child. We plan on offering these types of appointments in some areas, even after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
If you have questions about an upcoming appointment and whether telehealth can be used, or need to schedule an appointment, please contact your provider.
If you or your child needs emergency medical assistance, please call 911. If you need immediate help due to a mental health crisis, call 911 or go to your local emergency room, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. If you live in Franklin Count and your child is in crisis and you would like to talk to a mental health provider, call the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Franklin County Youth Psychiatric Crisis Line at (614) 722-1800.
Jeffrey M. Hoffman, MD, is a physician and chief of the Division of Clinical Informatics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. With over 20 years of Emergency Department experience, Dr. Hoffman has long understood the value of information and information technology caring for patients and families, and in communicating with other healthcare professionals. Through the use of electronic health records and other technologies, Dr. Hoffman and his fellow physician informaticists support direct patient care activities, population health management programs, quality and safety initiatives and various research projects.
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