Looking for a Pediatrician? 2 Modern Perks That Might Be Helpful

Posted on

Being a new parent can be incredibly overwhelming. In addition to finishing up that new nursery, you might also be faced with sleep deprivation and a litany of new-parent tasks, such as finding the right pediatrician for your child. However, you can easily whittle down the list of available pediatricians in your area by looking for these two modern practice perks that might be helpful. 

1. A 24-Hour Nurse Hotline

Few things are as intimidating to a new mom or dad as waking up in the middle of the night with a sick little one. You might wonder whether their fever is in normal range, whether or not their cough could hurt their little lungs, or how to introduce liquids while your child suffers from the stomach flu. In situations like these, most parents could benefit from medical help. Unfortunately, since emergency situations commonly occur after hours, you might find yourself looking for common symptoms online, guessing, or running up an unnecessary bill at your local emergency room.  

To eliminate treatment errors, many pediatrics offices now offer a 24-hour nurse hotline. Parents who need medical advice can call in night or day to talk about their child's symptoms with a nurse. If symptoms are bad enough, the nurse can patch you through to the doctor on call, who can give additional advice or treatment tips. Nurses answering hotline calls are also trained in emergency protocols so that they can tell you when and where to seek emergency treatment if your child needs urgent help.

These 24-hour nurse hotlines are more than a simple luxury; they can help you to give the best care possible to your child. As you screen potential pediatricians, ask whether or not they offer this valuable service and what you need to do in order to use it. Some offices require patients to register with a particular service or have an account number on hand while others simply offer the service completely free of charge without requiring any additional information.   

2. Telemedicine Options

Talking to a nurse about what to do is one thing, but meeting with your doctor from the comfort of your home takes healthcare to a whole new level. Although it might seem like a space-age concept, with the advent of camera phones and online communication, talking with your child's pediatrician is as simple as starting an online chat—that is, if they offer telemedicine.

Telemedicine is exploding in popularity because of its convenience, speed, and benefits for doctors. Since the average telemedicine appointment lasts as little as 17 minutes on average, physicians can help more patients in a shorter period of time, and this also benefits their hourly billing. Doctors can conduct basic exams through telemedicine appointments because they can see and talk with patients and their parents. Telemedicine also makes it easy for doctors to hear coughs, see rashes, and get a feel for how the patient is acting in their own environment. If prescriptions are necessary for treatment, your child's pediatrician can simply fax the prescription in, and that makes treating your child's ailment as easy as visiting your neighborhood pharmacy. You won't have to make multiple visits to the doctor's office.

If your chosen pediatrics office offers telemedicine, ask what is involved in using the service and how frequently doctors are available to answer calls. Some practices network with doctors all across the country to offer care for patients around the clock. Also, ask whether telemedicine is a flat-fee service or is billed through your normal insurance company. By understanding your options ahead of time, you can stay a little calmer during your child's next cold or flu. 

By finding the right pediatrician, you might be able to get medical help when you need it, keep your child comfortable, and avoid some of the common hassles that most parents have to deal with. 

For more information, go to this site to ask pediatricians near you what services they offer.