Make telehealth convenience permanent by cutting red tape

  • Kelsey Philie
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When my three-month-old woke up with a crusted-over eye last month, I panicked. Amid my frantic Google searches to make sure that eye infections are not a symptom of COVID-19 (they’re not), I had another sinking worry that I’d have to take my newborn son to the doctor’s office, potentially exposing him to the virus. My pediatrician offered another option: a telehealth appointment.

Two hours later, my biggest concern was trying to get my baby to hold still enough to use my phone’s camera to zoom in on his eye. The verdict was that he did not have an eye infection — and that telehealth appointments were the new normal.

I’ve since met with another doctor on my computer for a 10-minute follow-up appointment that I would have likely waited nearly an hour for had I gone into the office. We’ve met virtually with a pediatric physical therapist weekly. That has enabled us to continue treatment for a minor issue my son has had since birth, one that would have progressed into something more serious had we been forced to delay treatment for months on end.