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Telehealth and Virtual Medicine

Virtual medicine is not new to Cook Children's, in fact, our specialists have been conducting telemedicine visits in our regional outpatient clinics for more than 10 years. But it's grown to be so much more than that.

From providing specialty care for patient families across the globe, consulting with physicians in outlying areas to conducting virtual visits in school nurse's offices or after-hours in a patient's home, our telehealth and virtual medicine program is here for you.

Cook Children's has been using telemedicine and telehealth technologies since 2004.

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the practice of connecting with a healthcare professional virtually through real-time audio and video conferencing. In addition to talking remotely to nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals, specialized devices are used for diagnostic purposes. These can include an otoscope for the ear, stethoscope for heart and lung sounds and a close-up exam camera that can take video of the skin, eyes, and mouth.

Outpatient specialty care

Cook Children's specialty clinics throughout North Texas are equipped with cameras, microphones, TV monitors and specialized equipment, which means patient families can receive consultations and exams in real time without having to go to the inconvenience or expense of traveling far from home. Telemedicine provides coordinated care and ease of access that patient families in outlying areas otherwise wouldn't have.

Based on the diagnosis, a patient may have to be seen in person for an initial visit. Specialties currently offered through Cook Children's outpatient specialty care telemedicine include:

Specialty care is now as close as your computer, laptop, cell phone or tablet.

In addition to these specialties, we offer telehealth services, which give parents and children opportunities to learn from Cook Children's health professionals, such as dietitians, social workers, psychologists or counselors for patient education, dietary consultations and more.

Clinics with telemedicine equipment

  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – Abilene
  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – Denton
  • Cook Children's Hematology and Oncology Clinic – Grapevine
  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – Hurst
  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – Mansfield
  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – Midland
  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – San Angelo
  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – Southlake
  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – Tyler
  • Cook Children's Specialty Clinic – Waco

Inpatient specialty care

Cook Children's is now partnering with in-patient facilities in outlying regions in Texas as well as across the globe to provide them with access to our more than 240 specialists. Currently, all specialties are available for consult.

This allows for physicians in these areas to consult on medically fragile children without being moved or transported. With our phone lines staffed 24/7 by nurses, physicians across Texas and the globe can connect with Cook Children's specialists within minutes. If a transport is needed, our Teddy Bear Transport team can get patients here quickly and safely.

School program

We have begun a pilot of a new school-based telemedicine program. This means parents no longer have to immediately leave work or rearrange their schedules if they get a call from the school nurse. School nurses can connect virtually to a Cook Children's board certified pediatrician or certified nurse practitioner from the school nurse's office. Parents have the option of joining the virtual visit by logging into a secure website.

Through specialized equipment, the Cook Children's nurse practitioner or physician will be able to listen to a child's heart, look in their ears and throat and visually assess the child's other symptoms. If needed, electronic prescriptions can be sent to the family's preferred pharmacy.

Conditions that can be treated include:

  • Abrasions and scrapes
  • Coughs and colds
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Earaches
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Pinkeye
  • Rashes

In-home virtual visits with your pediatrician

Bringing expert medical care directly to you.

From pink eye and rashes to tummy bugs and much more, Cook Children's is all about helping kids, and their parents, feel better. And with parents' busy schedules, we know convenience is a necessity. That's why we offer telemedicine. Whether you're at home or on the road, we can help you and your child connect to participating pediatricians and a health care team at Cook Children's, where strong patient care and connection is made even stronger with new technology.

Using the latest innovations to streamline our process, you can now make appointments by phone, or schedule and check in online. You can even message the doctor directly if you're not sure where to start. Sometimes getting into the office is tricky and getting good medical care on the weekends or after hours can be hard. Now, with modern technology, you can see your doctor in the convenience of your home with your smart phone, computer or tablet.

  • Live video communication with your doctor
  • Efficient diagnosis and treatment
  • Secure web platform
  • Prescriptions can be faxed to your pharmacy

What is a virtual visit?

Virtual visits are a way of receiving care in the comfort of your home (or anywhere) for minor symptoms. The platform provides a secure video chat with your child's doctor. After your conversation, the doctor can provide advice or even send prescriptions directly into your pharmacy if necessary. All you need is a smart phone, computer or tablet and an internet connection to get started!

What conditions can and can't be treated through a virtual visit?

Virtual visits are great for simple concerns such as pink eye, rashes, allergies, constipation and vomiting. We can even check in for updates on chronic conditions. And, we now offer remote ear exams! If your child requires testing, such as for urinary symptoms or strep throat, or has more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, they should be seen in person or go to the nearest urgent care center.

How to get started

  1. Sign up for an account at any time.
  2. When you child needs a virtual visit, make your appointment here, or download the virtual care app.
  3. Select "schedule an appointment" and choose your provider.

After-hour services for existing patients

Ask your doctor's office about how to access one of our expert pediatricians via telemedicine after hours and on weekends*. We offer telemedicine to help you and your child connect from a remote location to a doctor and health care team at Cook Children's when your regular pediatrician's office is closed. All you need is a laptop, smart phone or tablet.

Sign up for an account and schedule your appointment

* Established patients only.

CellScope remote ear exams

Select Cook Children's pediatricians now offer remote ear exams for just $40! To get started, purchase the CellScope's in-home smart otoscope, Oto, for $79 to capture a video of the eardrum using your iPhone. *Please note that the address is case-sensitive.

Participating pediatricians

For referring physicians

For non-emergency consult requests, call Cook Direct Connect. This 24/7 phone line is staffed by nurses at Cook Children's Medical Center. They can connect you with a Cook Children's specialist within minutes. If a more in-depth consult, review of records or discussion with a patient family is required, we will schedule a more extensive consultation via our secure videoconferencing capabilities.

For urgent needs or transport requests, call 1-800-KID-HURT (1-800-543-4878).

Telemedicine visits are a win-win for patient families and physicians.

Patient families can:

  • Receive quality service offerings and efficient response time, no matter where you are located.
  • Avoid the stress and expense of traveling.
  • Save time and avoid missing school and work days.

Physicians have 24/7 access to:

  • Pediatric subspecialist consults
  • Emergency care consults
  • Complex multi-specialty team consultations
  • Second opinions
  • Remote reading of diagnostic tests