What to Consider When Choosing Telehealth for Youth
With telehealth becoming more prevalent due to the pandemic and as a result of the evolution of technology, it’s leaving many parents and caregivers wondering what they need to know when considering it for their youth.
Both in-person and virtual health have their pros and cons, and it’s important to understand these factors before making the right choice for any given appointment.
Is virtual an option?
Telehealth may not be an option for all types of appointments. Check with your doctor to see if telehealth is even an option offered by their practice, as well as if it’s an option for your scenario, before diving into the pros and cons. While telehealth may be an option for mental health care or a follow-up visit, it may not be an option for pain-related injuries or severe symptoms.
Does your insurance cover telehealth?
While virtual health options are certainly here to stay, it’s best to call your provider to ensure your coverage includes telehealth and to find out the copay or related expenses as they could differ from an in-person visit. Knowing the complete cost landscape will help you make an informed decision when choosing between the different modalities.
The accessibility & reliability of technology
Access to a phone, tablet or computer is a necessary part of virtual health and must be considered before booking. And for its many upsides, a downside of technology is that it does not always work perfectly so if your internet is slow or your video isn’t working, it could impact the effectiveness and quality of your telehealth visit.
While the convenience of virtual health options is a huge attraction to the option, it also means creating your own distraction-free spot for the visit. Think about if there is a viable option where you or your youth will be able to hear, be heard, and have the ability to remove distractions such as televisions, games, and other inputs that could take focus away from the visit.
The Irreplaceable Nature of Physical Evaluations
Virtual is just that – it’s virtual. The doctor will not be able to conduct a physical exam or administer shots or other physical treatments. Virtual visits also reduce the ability for doctors to observe body language, mannerisms and cues that can be a vital part of evaluations.
Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits all approach because every individual is different and so too are their healthcare situations and needs. Taking individual factors as well as guidance from your healthcare provider into account alongside these considerations is pertinent when selecting the best option for your youth.