Virtual Visits Help Provide Children with the Health Care They Need
These past few weeks have brought unprecedented and unexpected changes. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has been at the forefront of providing safe and accessible care to the community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As your pediatric partners, Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital and affiliated practices are committed to doing just that and more.
Using technology for care
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has caused us to rethink the way we deliver pediatric health care. The current goal is to minimize face-to-face interactions. By decreasing the number of in-office visits, we can protect our patients, staff and clinicians from unintentional exposure and preserve protective equipment like masks.
This means that Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital and affiliated practices have implemented virtual care options including video and telephone visits as ways to provide much of the care your child needs. Depending on your child’s symptoms, we may need to see your child through an LVHN Virtual Office Visit (using the MyLVHN app), discuss ongoing care or treatment plans with you on the telephone, or exchange information through a MyLVHN patient message. NOTE: You will need proxy access to your child’s MyLVHN account, as well as a MyLVHN account for yourself to have a pediatric video visit or send a message.
To schedule a video visit with your child’s pediatrician or pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, simply call the office, and a member of our team will schedule a video visit appointment for your child. When it’s time for your child’s video visit, open the MyLVHN app on your smartphone or smart device, select your child’s account and open “My Appointments” – that’s where your child’s video visit will be listed. Select the video visit appointment to check in, and your child’s provider will be with you at the scheduled time.
When a child needs care in the office
In some cases, we will still need to see your child in the office to evaluate his or her symptoms and health concerns. To keep every patient interaction safe, all health care workers at our practices are continuously masked. We also are limiting the number of people at face-to-face visits to one parent or guardian. Preserving the health and well-being of our staff and patients is our utmost concern. Patients sick with respiratory symptoms will be seen separately from patients who are otherwise well.
Routine vaccine care continues
As your pediatricians, we believe strongly in the value of preventive care. This means that it is still very important for our most vulnerable patients to receive their well-care and vaccines during these next few months. Recognizing that vaccines are critically important for preventing infections, our pediatric clinicians will continue to see infants and toddlers, birth to 18 months, in the office for well-care visits. All other well-care visits will be postponed. In May, we will send out communications when we’re ready to begin scheduling well-care visits for older children, including vaccines, as appropriate.
Our Children’s ER remains open 24/7 for your child’s emergency care. If your child needs emergency medical care, seek care from the experts at the region’s only Children’s ER, located at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest. Our board-certified pediatric emergency physicians, along with board-certified emergency physicians, are prepared to care for your child in a compassionate and child-friendly manner.
Rest assured, we are closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic. We will update our approach as additional information becomes available and indicates the need for adjustments.
We consider it a privilege to be your family’s health care partners as together we face the days ahead.
Helpful resources for your family:
Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses, three in Allentown, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; Coordinated Health, which includes two hospital campuses, nearly two dozen multispecialty locations including ambulatory surgery centers and orthopedic injury centers in northeastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey; 26 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 22 ExpressCARE including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation, and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, Lehigh Valley Heart Institute, and Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence physicians provide the most advanced treatments. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the community’s only children’s hospital, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is the region’s only hospital nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for orthopedics and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top five hospitals for six consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.