Telehealth for Children and for Pets


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Telehealth is a big thing – it’s everywhere. Is it a good thing? Listen HERE on Steve Dale’s Other World, WGN radio as Dr. Gail Golab, associate executive VP and Chief Veterinary Officer American Veterinary Medical Association, and Bridget Hillman, manager of Lurie’s Children’s Hospital Telehealth Program discuss post-pandemic concerns about telehealth but also positive uses of this technology.

So, here’s the problem – you are dealing with a patient – whether it’s a young child or a pet – who can’t tell you exactly what they’re feeling and also a veterinary professional or pediatrician who doesn’t know you or your child or your pet and has no access to medical records. And obviously, there’s no opportunity for a physical exam. Of course, this is a problem. Are some direct to consumer providers taking advantage?

As Hillman says, telehealth has been around even before the pandemic and today it’s a part of what can be possible to provide access to care for children (and pets too) and they will likely more relaxed in their own homes.

Dr. Golab explains for pets why a client patient relationship is generally required, and often by law (though all too often the law is wiggled around).

Dr. Golab explains what teletriage and also what teleadvice are – and why those options are just fine.

When it comes to prescribing – it’s all very complicated, and on the pet side in most places it’s not supposed to happen (unless you have a relationship with a veterinary professional, in most states).  Also, that provider you may be speaking with may be out of state or even out of the country.

Dr. Golab and Hillman are fans of the prospects of telehealth and that it may be used very effectively with veterinary or medical professionals you have a relationship with.

Telemedicine resource from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Telemedicine resource from the American Veterinary Medical Association.