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Why doctors are concerned many families aren’t getting the most out of telehealth

Ross and Russel
Article image for Why doctors are concerned many families aren’t getting the most out of telehealth

The popularity of telehealth has surged among families, with many parents choosing the service for their children because of its ease.

But there are concerns the quality of appointments is being compromised because families don’t understand how to get the most out of the experience.

A recent Royal Children’s Hospital survey found a quarter of parents said it’s appropriate to dial in for their child’s telehealth appointment while driving or shopping.

Paediatrician and director of the Royal Children’s Hospital’s National Child Health Poll, Dr Anthea Rhodes, says telehealth makes a lot of sense in many circumstances, but it needs to be treated appropriately.

She says it’s particularly helpful for children who are anxious about seeing a doctor, and for parents of children with disabilities.

“Those children, being able to see a doctor in their own home without all the stresses that come with that change of environment is really, really important,” she told Ross and Russel.

“For parents where children perhaps have a disability, getting on public transport, in and out of the car park, all of those things are actually really enormous challenges and the benefits of taking those away are really huge.”

But Dr Rhodes says it’s important telehealth patients have a quiet, private space and give the appointment their full attention.

“Some families don’t understand how important it is to have a safe and private place where they can concentrate,” she said.

Press PLAY below to hear Dr Rhodes’ advice on getting the most out of telehealth

Ross and Russel
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