London, Ont., A virtual children’s emergency room, a hit with families


A virtual clinic that allows families to check with emergency department physicians before going to the emergency room in person has been a hit with families and has helped up to 5,000 patients.

“We launched it in May 2020 and have learned a lot since then. The satisfaction feedback we have received has been off the charts,” said Dr Rod Lim, chief of pediatric emergencies at London Health. Science center.

“There have been a lot of comments from people telling us that they would like us to continue, that they love the reassurance and advice they can get from a pediatric emergency physician. We also learned a lot about what is responsible for doing virtually and what needs to be seen in person. ”

The clinic is open four hours a day and sees between 16 and 20 patients during this time.

The clinic opened in May 2020 after doctors and nurses worried that families were not coming to the emergency room at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It operates seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

COVID-19 advice requested

Parents can make an appointment for the next day from the day before around 7 p.m. or make an appointment the same day. The service has been so popular, however, that many are turned down.

“Traditionally, the holidays have always been a difficult time for emergency services as it is a time when frontline services take a break and access for families becomes difficult,” Lim said.

London morning6:45Appointment with two emergency doctors

Pediatric Emergency Doctor Rod Lim and City Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr Christine MacDonald tell London Morning how Omicron’s new variant is changing the number of hospital patients and their vacation plans. 6:45

“Normally during the holidays we are often the only option available and this is also true for this virtual clinic. We still refuse 70% of the patients. I think Omicron is freaking out a lot of people and naturally a lot of people are looking for a lot of COVID related advice during this time. “

Although doctors cannot use an app, in most cases they can find a way to help. Yet the virtual clinic is not a substitute for in-person emergency care, Lim said. However, it can be useful for people who would not otherwise see a doctor.

“It has the potential to break down many barriers, whether for people who do not have access to timely medical care or for people who are geographically isolated. Among the people who enjoy our service are single parents of young children because it is so difficult to access physical care when you have multiple children, ”Lim said.

“These learnings have been so powerful for us, and we are thrilled to continue to be a part of the evolution of this.”

Those who wish to access the virtual clinic can find out more about how to do so by clicking here.


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