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Over 500 patients take advantage of Children’s Hospital Virtual Emergency Clinic

For Immediate Release:
September 24, 2020


LONDON, Ontario – Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reminding our community of the Virtual Emergency Clinic for families who are concerned that their child may require emergency care.  

Since its launch in May, over 500 families have been accessed the Virtual Emergency Clinic, and 150 of those families were referred to the Paediatric Emergency Department. “We usually see an increase in volumes once the school year begins,” says Dr. Rod Lim, Medical Director, Paediatric Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital. “We want to remind families of this alternative care option especially with school re-openings.”

The virtual clinic allows parents and children to speak to a paediatric emergency room physician by video to discuss the child’s condition and, together, determine next steps such as seeing a primary care provider, or coming to the emergency department. 

“As we begin to see an increase in COVID-19 in our community, LHSC continues to plan for an anticipated second wave,” says Dr. Paul Woods, President and CEO, LHSC. “Our hospitals remain safe and our community can be confident in our safety protocols. However, we know families might be concerned about coming to the hospital, and we are very proud to offer effective and reassuring care delivery innovations, such as the virtual paediatric emergency clinic at Children’s Hospital.”

The virtual clinic have adjusted their operating hours to best meet the needs of parents and their children during the school year. It operates 7 days a week from 4 pm – 7 pm and does not replace in-person visits to the Emergency Department; rather, it provides a way for families to reach out for care if they may be hesitant to visit the hospital because of COVID-19. Because patients are not seen in person, care providers cannot diagnose or prescribe medication during the virtual appointment, but they do ensure that new or developing conditions do not worsen without treatment.

Parents seeking a virtual visit can call 519-685-8735 between 4 pm - 7 pm and will be connected with clerical staff who will generate a patient registration and send an email invitation to join a Cisco Webex meeting. This invitation will include instructions to download the software on their smartphone or laptop, and what to expect during their appointment. 

When the parent and patient join the Webex meeting, they’ll be placed in a private virtual waiting room. A physician will then consult with the patients/parents on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parents should ensure their “visit” takes place in a quiet room with good lighting so that the physician can clearly see and hear the child. 

Dr. Rod Lim is available to speak to media from 9 am to 11 am on September 24. 

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 145 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 70 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca  

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For media inquiries contact:                            
Marek Kubow
Corporate Communications and Public Relations 
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 75155

After-hours assistance: 
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communicator on-call