Mighty Blog

How to get the most out of your virtual care visit

At Children’s Minnesota, we have expanded how we offer health care in an effort to be every family’s essential partner in raising healthier children, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. We assure you our hospitals and clinics are safe, but we are also offering care in ways that work for families’ unique lifestyles. We have implemented new programs, like Children’s Minnesota Drive-Up Care, and expanded other programs, like virtual care (telemedicine) to meet these needs.

What is virtual care?

The virtual care program at Children’s Minnesota allows kids and their families to video chat with their care team from the comfort of their home or patient room. During these visits, patients, families and health care providers can see, hear and talk to each other, much like an in-person appointment.

Mother and adolescent son have a virtual care appointment

Tips to make the most of your virtual care visit

Preparing for your virtual visit

Tips for getting started

  • Select your device: We recommend using a smart phone or tablet.
  • Download the virtual visit app: Go to Children’sMN.org Virtual Care and enter your clinic for detailed instructions on preparing your device. Make sure you have installed the latest app.
  • Test it out: Test out the app before your visit to ensure it will work.

Technology tips

If you’re new to video:

  • Perfection: Don’t worry about getting it perfect. Virtual care is new for many of us, and your provider understands that.
  • Join the room ahead of time: Just like entering an exam room before your provider, please find your clinic appointment link and join the room 5-10 minutes before your scheduled appointment time and wait for your provider. Call your clinic if you think you are waiting too long.

Additional tips:

  • Reboot your mobile device: Reboot before the visit. This will help will help clear out open apps that might be causing your device to lag.
  • Charge your device: You may also want to keep your device plugged in to a power source to make sure your device doesn’t run out of battery.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi: If possible, connect to the internet to ensure you have the best possible connection.
  • Use the best browser: Use whichever internet browser (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer) that your telehealth app recommends.

Preparing for the appointment

Just like you do for an in-person visit, your clinic may ask you to review few documents beforehand, such as a consent for treatment. Additional tips include:

  • Make a list of questions before the appointment.
  • Try to be in a quiet, well-lit space. Light coming from behind you may cause glare.
  • Set up your device so it’s at eye level on a flat surface instead of holding it in your hand.
  • Make sure your child is wearing appropriate clothing to allow for showing any rash or incision.
  • Make sure you have the necessary items nearby: A thermometer, a flashlight or light source, your child’s weight or a scale, the name or location of your pharmacy.

During your virtual visit

  • Kids will be kids. Young children can be impatient and squirmy and don’t always cooperate — whether they are in an office or on video. Your provider understands that, so don’t worry about your child’s behavior. Get set up with some of their favorite toys or books, and make a game of it. It may be OK if your child is present for only part of the visit.
  • Older kids need privacy. The provider will likely want one-on-one time to talk to teens in private. You might be asked to step out of the room, or a teen can use a headset so they can talk for a part of the call without being overheard.
  • Technology glitches can happen. Depending on the type of visit your provider may be able to complete the visit on the phone.

We are excited to offer our patients and their families the health care they need in a way that works for them. To make a virtual care appointment, please call your clinic and they will help you decide the right type of visit for your child’s needs.

Kaitlyn Kamleiter