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Virtual emergency clinic for children sees over 500 families since May: LHSC

FILE.
FILE. Matthew Trevithick/AM980

The start of the school year usually results in a bump in volumes at emergency rooms and with the pandemic top of mind, the Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reminding families about its virtual option.

The virtual emergency clinic has seen over 500 families since its launch in May, referring 150 of those families to the pediatric emergency department.

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“We want to remind families of this alternative care option, especially with school reopenings,” says medical director of the pediatric emergency department Dr. Rod Lim.

The virtual clinic allows parents and children to talk to a physician over video to determine next steps, whether that be seeing a primary care provider or coming in to the emergency department.

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Because it’s not in-person, care providers cannot make diagnoses or prescribe medication virtually, but LHSC says it provides families with a way to reach out if they’re hesitant to visit the hospital because of COVID-19.

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“As we begin to see an increase in COVID-19 in our community, LHSC continues to plan for an anticipated second wave,” says LHSC president and CEO Dr. Paul Woods.

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“Our hospitals remain safe and our community can be confident in our safety protocols. However, we know families might be concerned about coming to the hospital, and we are very proud to offer effective and reassuring care delivery innovations, such as the virtual pediatric emergency clinic at Children’s Hospital.”

The virtual clinic is available daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with visits organized by calling 519-685-8735, where staff will then create a patient registration and send an email invite to a Cisco Webex meeting, as well as provide information on how to “download the software on their smartphone or laptop, and what to expect during their appointment.”

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