About Telehealth Services

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Packard Children’s Health Alliance (collectively referred to as “Stanford Children’s Health”) hope to better meet patients’ needs by making some health care services available through a two-way, live telehealth interaction, or “virtual visit”, with a Stanford Children’s provider.

Patients, or their legal guardians, may access virtual visits through the Stanford Children’s Health MyChart portal. MyChart incorporates network and software security protocols to protect the privacy and security of patients’ health information and will include measures to safeguard patients’ data to ensure its integrity against intentional or unintentional corruption.

Nature of virtual visits

Virtual visits involve the use of audio, video, or other electronic communications to allow patients and/or their guardians to interact and consult with their health care provider and review the patients’ medical information for the purposes of diagnosis, treatment, follow-up or patient education. During a virtual visit, details of the patient’s medical history and personal health information may be discussed with other health professionals through the use of interactive video, audio and telecommunications technology. Virtual visits may also include the electronic transmission of medical records, photo images, personal health information, or other data between the patient/guardian and health care provider.

Benefits of virtual visits

Telehealth or virtual visits make it more convenient and efficient for patients and/or their guardians to consult with, interact and receive medical advice from a medical provider without requiring them to travel to an in-office appointment.

  • Potential risks of virtual visits and alternatives
  • The information transmitted to the patient’s provider may not be sufficient (e.g., poor resolution of images) to allow the provider to make appropriate medical decisions.
  • Providers cannot conduct certain evaluations during a virtual visit. In some cases this may prevent the provider from providing a diagnosis or treatment or from identifying that the patient needs emergency medical care.
  • The provider may not be able to provide medical treatment for particular conditions remotely, and the patient may need to follow up with an in-person evaluation.
  • Delays in medical evaluation or treatment could occur due to deficiencies or failures of the technology or electronic equipment used for the virtual visit.
  • Security protocols or safeguards could fail, causing a breach of privacy of personal medical information.
  • Given regulatory requirements in certain jurisdictions, the provider’s treatment options, especially pertaining to certain prescriptions, may be limited.
  • The alternative to a virtual visit is a face-to-face appointment with the patient and provider.

Stanford Children’s Health is a teaching, research and health care institution

Stanford Children’s Health is affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine, a teaching facility that trains physicians, surgeons, nurses and other health care personnel. Residents, fellows, medical students, visiting faculty members and other health care personnel in training may participate in virtual visits with the patient and provider.

Medical information and records

All laws concerning patient access to medical records and copies of medical records apply to virtual visits. Patients and/or their legal guardians may access all transmitted medical information related to the virtual visit through the MyChart portal at any time.

Privacy and confidentiality

All existing confidentiality protections under federal and California law apply to information used or disclosed during the virtual visit. Patients/guardians may review the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Packard Children’s Health Alliance Notice of Privacy Practices.

Financial agreement

Virtual visits are professional services for which the patient, or his or her guardian, must accept full financial responsibility in accordance with the regular rates and terms of Stanford Children’s Health. This includes financial responsibility for all deductibles and co-payments that may be required by your health plan. You are encouraged to confirm coverage of virtual visits with your health plan.

Additional risks and benefits of virtual visits

  1. The delivery of health care services via virtual visits is an evolving field and may include use of technology not specifically described above.
  2. While virtual visits may provide potential benefits, as with any medical care service (in-person or remote), no such benefits or specific results can be guaranteed.
  3. There are certain potential risks to the use of virtual visits, including but not limited to, the risks described above.
  4. Patients and/or their guardians have the right to withhold or withdraw their consent to virtual visits in the course of the patients’ care at any time, which they may exercise by providing notice to Stanford Children’s Health.
  5. The patient’s provider may determine, in his or her sole discretion, that a particular condition is not suitable for treatment via telehealth and that it may be necessary for the patient to seek medical care and treatment in-person and/or from another physician or provider.
  6. Patients, or their guardians, must accept full financial responsibility for virtual visits, including any co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles.