We’ve all been there. The 6 AM ‘no-fever-but-sniffles-to-send-to-school-or-not-send-to-school’ dilemma. The ‘is it head lice?’ conundrum. The 2 AM inconsolable baby and you’re just not sure if it’s teeth or something that a doctor might need to assess.
Enter Nest Collaborative, a new concierge telemedicine practice opened by Baltimore mom and board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner Amanda Gorman.
“Nest doesn’t take the place of your primary care physician,” said Amanda over coffee — with a splash of cream or milk or whatever is in the house. “We are part of your family’s care team.”
So how does it work? Parents log into Nest’s secure (and HIPAA compliant) online platform to create an account, make an appointment, and or connect for their appointment. Using a camera-equipped smartphone, laptop, or tablet device, parents and pint-sized patients can interact via video with Amanda. She will chart the visit within the online platform during the appointment, so parents have immediate secure access to their child’s health information and that information can be shared with the child’s primary care physician.
Amanda’s approach to family wellness and the philosophy upon which Next was built is really all about collaboration. The soothing blue tones of her home office echo her approach to pediatric healthcare and working with families: balance, comfort, accessibility, and warmth. In a world where doctors visits can often seem rushed, it’s refreshing.
Her experience as an ER nurse, nanny — and of course, mom to two kiddos — gives her a unique perspective when it comes to family health and what busy family’s need. While the concept of telemedicine is new and may be hard for some to wrap their minds around, it can be a huge sanity saver for families, said Amanda. It provides easy access to quality pediatric care for health concerns that can be safely treated at home.
“Most pediatrician visits are reassurance visits,” said Amanda. “Many times the issue is viral and ‘wait and see’ is prescribed. Or the doctor says make sure the child gets lots of fluids and rest.” Of course, conscientious parents have taken time off of work to make that middle-of-the-day sick appointment. Having a virtual consult with Amanda can help parents decide when a pediatrician’s office or Urgent Care visit is necessary, while providing peace of mind and advice. Think of it as a first-level triage.
It’s a great concept, but does it work? I happened to be chatting with another Baltimore mom who mentioned she used Nest’s services while she was on vacation in Ocean City. She suspected her five-month-old may have had pink eye, but there wasn’t an Urgent Care within an hour’s drive that took her insurance. So she made an appointment with Nest and Amanda gave her sound advice on what to do, what to look out for, and when she needed to see a doctor. Much easier and more practical than carting her three kids to a hospital — the closest medical practice that accepted her insurance — an hour away.
Yes, Nest accepts insurance. The practice is currently in-network with Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. Aetna (Maryland). Cigna (Maryland), and Johns Hopkins Healthcare (EHP).
Every weekday morning, Amanda wakes up, tiptoes past her sleeping kiddos and husband, and heads into her home office for walk-in hours. Nest’s ‘walk-in’ hours between 7 AM and 9 AM each day work just like your pediatrician’s walk-in hours… except you don’t have to bundle everyone up and get them in the car. Patients can also schedule appointments for other times during the day and weekends. As the concept grows, additional walk-in hours may be added in the evening.
Amanda loves the flexibility that Nest has given her. The energy and rush of building a new business, a chance to use her well-honed nursing skills, and the ability to still be present for her two young kids during the daytime. She suspects that as her practice grows, most of her patient interaction time will be spent during those early morning walk-in hours and evenings after the pediatrician offices close. She is in the process of adding a lactation consultant to her team to help moms with nursing issues, which inevitably seem to crop up in the middle of the night. (How great would it be to have an immediate appointment with an expert during some of those 2 AM nursing episodes? Right from the comfort of your own home?).
Although her kids bound into the office while she may be working on the administrative side of her practice, Amanda has in-home childcare for them when meeting with families so that patients have her undivided attention.
“I really want to be a integral part of a family’s wellness team,” said Amanda. “I want to get to know my families. And I want them to get to know me.”
Curious about Nest? Visit the website (and tell Amanda (cool) progeny sent you!).