Eugene Pediatric Associates is now offering pediatric care, lactation support and mental and behavioral health services to families in our community through telemedicine visits. Following the governor’s executive order for people to stay home during this national emergency, this new option for care allows pediatricians and other providers to see patients and answer questions while the family remains safe in the comfort of their home.
“We’re using this technology to see generally healthy kids whose parents just have questions around issues like feeding, sleep, or their child’s academics or behavior—issues that really matter to parents but, because of social distancing, may have had to wait to be addressed if we had not launched telemedicine,” says Dr. Pilar Bradshaw.”
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine allows a medical or behavioral health provider to speak face to face with patients and families through an online connection that is private, secure, HIPAA compliant and simple to use from a cell phone, tablet or home computer.
“Although our ability to examine a child is limited by only being able to see him or her on our screen, as experienced pediatricians, we are visually able to do a lot of exam work and answer families’ questions during a telemedicine visit,” she says.
“These visits are also backed up by pediatricians at our office. If I see a child who is having a concerning issue, I can refer that family to see one of my partners in the clinic. We can use telemedicine for routine visits, as well as a triage tool to decide what steps need to be taken next.”
Eugene Pediatrics continues to provide clinic visits for patients that need to be seen in person. All clinic appointments follow strict safety protocols. While many issues can be addressed through telemedicine, some medical visits necessitate an in-person physician examination, which include:
- Newborn exams
- 2-week-old well checks
- 6-week-old well checks
- 4-year-old well checks
Each of these visits require that a doctor personally examine the child to detect critical health issues, such as heart problems, lung issues, congenital cataracts, vision and hearing loss, and hip dysplasia, among many other conditions.
Behavioral health support
In addition to pediatricians using telemedicine, therapists and specialists at Thrive Behavioral Health—Eugene Pediatrics’ integrated behavioral health clinic—are also seeing patients in this manner during this time of social distancing.
“So many people are under stress right now,” says Dr. Bradshaw. “Kids who are anxious and kids who were already dealing with depression are feeling more alone in social isolation, so giving Thrive’s therapists, psychologist and child psychiatrist the ability to connect with families in this way, through our behavioral health department, is huge.”
Free lactation consultations
Registered nurse Bonnie Root, Eugene Pediatrics’ international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), is also offering free telemedicine lactation consultations to all moms in the community who are interested in the service, regardless of which pediatric office cares for their child.
“We’re offering this service for free because we know that support from a lactation expert helps nursing moms and their babies stay healthy,” Dr. Bradshaw says.
“When breastfeeding is successful, newborns can avoid problems like dehydration, low blood sugar and jaundice, which can lead to emergency room visits or even hospitalization. Now more than ever, Eugene Pediatrics wants to keep babies at home and protect them from needing urgent medical care.”
To schedule a telemedicine visit with Bonnie or a pediatrician at Eugene Pediatric Associates, call 541-484 5437.
Appointments with providers at Thrive Behavioral Health can be made by calling 541-246-7263.