03 February 2021

Important when Caring for Children in Digital Channels

Doctrin offers automated questionnaires to be used when collecting medical history for both children and adults. Howevere, ther are several vital differences between care contact with adults and children. Some of these differences are very important for medical safety, especially when the first contact can be made digitally.

In this interview, Anna-Karin Edstedt Bonamy, CEO and pediatrician, tells us what to consider when caring for children in digital channels.

What is important to keep in mind when caring for children in digital channels?

Young children's contact with care takes place on the initiative of adults. It is usually the child's guardian who seeks medical care for the child, but adults who do not know the child's entire history (e.g. family homes or relatives) may seek care for the child. The questions must be designed so that the information to the care provider is correct. Important information is, for example, the child's previous illnesses or medicines. We can not assume that the person applying for the child knows all the information that is available, and the report to the care provider must therefore not provide false security, if, for example, chronic conditions have not been described.

It can be difficult to leave a medical history for a child who is not able to describe how he or she feels. For example, asking an infant where he or she is experiencing pain will be more complex than asked of adults. Instead, the answer will be based on the adult's interpretation of the child's condition. We have spent a lot of time and consideration in formulating these questions so that the answers provided will give the best picture of the child's condition as possible.

Are there differences between children of different ages?

A lot happens during the first years of life. Unlike adults, where conditions and ailments may be differently relevant in certain larger age groups, the range for children is significantly smaller. The content of the questionnaires is therefore extra carefully thought out, and sometimes even specially adapted to capture information that is particularly important based on the child's age. 

What safety aspects should be considered?

Some conditions that affect young children can quickly become serious. We have seen that a digital contact route to care can shorten the waiting time for contact with care staff. But do not want to give the impression that a digital contact route would be suitable for uracute symptoms. Children who are potentially very ill are referred, before the questionnaire has even begun, instead to emergency care.

Are there any symptoms that are particularly important when caring for children?

The general condition and the presence of serious symptoms are two very crucial information aspects for making a safe assessment of children, especially if the consultation takes  place digitally. We have chosen to spend extra time and care on developing questions that provide a picture of the child's current condition so that the caregiver will feel safe in the choice of treatment. If there is still uncertainty about the severity, the caregiver can, with the help of the platform's integrated video solution, quickly supplement the information in the report with video to assess the child's general condition.

What is important when designing digital anamnesis forms adapted for children?

To make a reliable assessment of a child's condition, a comprehensive assessment is required. The symptoms that the adult has noticed in the child can usually be due to many different conditions. It is extremely important that the information obtained accurately reflects the severity of the child's condition. This means that the forms designed for young children need a wider coverage. A child who is looking for a rash can, for example, also have a fever, breathe quickly and feel dull. The latter is critical information that must be captured as it raises suspicion of infection and requires prompt action.

How does Doctrin work with medical validation of anamnesis forms

Our child forms have undergone Doctrin's standardised validation. This means that all anamnesis forms have been reviewed by at least two specialist doctors, one of whom has many years of experience as a pediatrician. In addition to this, the forms have been user-tested both internally and externally by both parents of young children and caregivers who meet children at health centers and child clinics. We have chosen to spend extra time on internal and external validation of the child forms in order to be able to test the safety and quality of the content in advance as much as possible.

What should parents consider when seeking care for a child digitally? 

Select the level of care in the same way as if there had not been a digital contact path. The forms are designed to capture seriously ill children and enable referral to an appropriate level of care. But if you are seriously concerned about the child's condition, you should contact the emergency department directly instead of applying digitally to a lower level of care. . In some cases, the care provider may want to supplement the information that has emerged in the anamnesis to assess, for example, respiratory effects or general condition. We therefore recommend that the adult and the child are in the same place for video calls to be possible.

Finally, is there anything important you want to add? 

It is important to know that sick children under one year will often need a physical visit for examination. Both the child and the healthcare system still benefit from starting the contact digitally to assess where the child should receive care and how urgent it is. In this way, unnecessary emergency visits can be avoided and children get individualised self-care advice faster. 

Our forms are now especially adapted for children at both BVC clinics and health centers. Do you want to know more about how you can use our digital anamnesis in your business? Contact us!



 

 

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