Yesterday there was an article published by Newsday that discussed the challenges of telemedicine and getting patients to click the app.
Allied Physicians Group has been offering telemedicine to our patients since January 2018. We started with one office during the daytime, and then rolled out after-hours telemedicine visits in March 2018 from that same office. Then, at the end of September, we expanded the program to include all of Allied’s offices. These visits are performed by a board-certified Allied pediatrician who has access to the patient’s complete medical records while at the same time doing a visit through out HIPAA compliant platform. Some of our patients even own a device that enables the doctor to do a virtual exam of the ear drum, heart, and lungs.
Just like the article mentions, we too have had a slower than expected adoption of this telemedicine option from our patients. But, with a lot of education about how helpful seeing a trusted pediatrician from the comfort of their living room (or kitchen table, or crib) can be under the right circumstances, our patients are using Telemedicine more and more with each passing week. Our patients have learned what conditions can be diagnosed/treated via telemedicine and which can not. Some of our biggest users at the moment are families with infants at home with issues that can be managed just as well via telemedicine without the possibility of exposure to the cold weather and contagious diseases. All Telemedicine visits are documented right in the patient’s medical record, and the office staff receives a notification of the visit as soon as they log in for the day, which makes any necessary follow up extremely easy.
“Our group offers telemedicine to our patients, so patients truly can have quality care from the comfort of their home. Telemedicine when provided by your child’s pediatric group, offers continuity of care like never before. The consumer should be educated on the difference between a “retail” telemedicine provider and their provider offering telemedicine. There’s quite a difference in the type of quality care that you are receiving. A “retail” telemedicine visit is the equivalent of an urgent care visit at best. A telemedicine visit with your providers office is an extension of the care that you trust.”- Leslie Tarver, VP Patient Experience and Marketing at Adjuvant.Health.
Naomi Zilkha, MD, FAAP
Allied Physician, Division of Telemedicine
By: Dr. Karen Lidoshore- Fuld, Pediatric Health Associates (Plainview, NY)
Many of you have seen or heard about the recent death of an 18 day old baby girl following infection with Herpes Simplex Virus from a kiss. It is important for us to remember that this type of transmission to a newborn and extent of disease is an extremely rare occurrence. It is also important to understand how we as parents can do our best to prevent HSV transmission.
There are 2 types of Herpes Simplex infection; HSV-1 which usually causes cold sores and fever blisters on the mouth and lips, and HSV-2 which causes most cases of genital herpes. According to the World Health Organization close to 70% of people under the age of 50 are infected with HSV-1. Approximately 16% of people age 14-49 test positive for HSV-2.
Herpes affects about 1 in 3,500 babies in the United States each year. Transmission to a newborn can occur either in utero (extremely rare), during labor and birth, or after birth. During labor or birth is the most common way that a newborn can acquire the virus. After birth, a parent or another family member or friend can pass the virus to the newborn as occurred in this case. Unfortunately, most people can shed the virus in their saliva without any symptoms, though sometimes they will have a cold sore on their lips.
Symptoms of HSV-1 in babies (seen 2-12 days after exposure).
- Fever (100.4 or greater –rectally)
- Poor feeding
- Itching and/or burning around the mouth or lips (Does your child pull away and begin crying during breastfeeding, or when the lips or mouth come in contact with an object, or when you touch them?)
- Floppiness (of the body)
- Redness of the gums
- Swollen, tender lymph glands
- Cold sores (on, inside or around the lips and/or mouth; may also occur on the face)
Prevention of transmission of HSV to the newborn is possible in most cases. If you are pregnant and have a history or signs and symptoms of genital HSV-2 infection, tell your doctor as soon as possible. A C-section delivery is recommended if a mother has an HSV-2 outbreak near the time of birth. In terms of HSV-1 transmission, it is essential that you have anyone who will touch the baby wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water. Also, do not kiss your baby or let others kiss your baby on the lips, whether or not there are visible cold sores.