CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — The room inside Urgent Care for Kids in Cedar Park that doctors have dubbed the “telepod” room is located right next to the exam rooms. It’s equipped with a big screen and camera along with an otoscope and stethoscope.
Families can skip the waiting room and a few clicks later connect with a pediatrician. The doctor gets alerts at the different clinics and the first available answers the call.
“I could have a doctor sitting in Dallas or Houston looking into my eardrum here,” said Kevin Pearce, president of Urgent Care for Kids. “It gives power for us to utilize capacity and to shorten wait times while not compromising the care.”
If families can’t make it to the clinic, then they can now FaceTime one of the doctors from home. The doctor will talk to the parents about symptoms and even diagnose over FaceTime.
“I’m very excited about it because I know there’s many times that there will be parents who have sick children — either they need to get to their jobs or they have another sick child and they really can’t go outside of their home easily,” said Dr. Linda Halbrook, director of telemedicine at Urgent Care for Kids. “So, I think this is a great tool for them to be able to meet the children’s needs without leaving the home.”
If doctors think it’s more serious, they will ask the family to go to the clinic. Doctors also say if families have to transition from their house to a clinic, then it’s considered part of the same visit.
“We’ve seen a lot of rashes,” said Halbrook. “We’ve had an occasional person have a fever, and depending on the other symptoms, we’re able to diagnose pretty accurately.”
VirutalPediatrics is covered by insurance. Urgent Care for Kids also offers discounts that can be cheaper than a co-pay. There are nine other locations which offer VirtualPediatrics including in Dallas and Houston.
The doctors also send a summary to your regular pediatrician after the visit.