Virtual Handshake

Care That Begins Before You Visit

Virtual Handshake, gives patients and families information about the doctors and care team they'll meet during visits, as well as education and tips to help before, during and after their appointment or hospital stay. Essentially, Virtual Handshake, along with our care teams do the web search for you! Parents, friends, relatives, and outside healthcare providers can all be invited to learn and share information within this private online community. Our goal is to help parents and caregivers gain a deeper understanding of their child’s health condition.

Virtual Handshake welcomes patients and families with a personalized message, curated health information, text reminders, introductory videos from their doctor, tips from other parents, maps, and videos to help them navigate parking and the check-in process. With Virtual Handshake, we’ll begin to share our commitment to patients and families even when we’re not together, in smarter ways.

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How Virtual Handshake Works

Primary care doctor refers patient to Seattle Children’s Hospital

Family/Patient schedules appointment and gets an email invitation to Virtual Handshake

Family/Patient logs on to the Virtual Handshake™ online community

Family is greeted by a video from their clinician along with materials about their child’s condition and information about coming to Seattle Children’s Hospital

Family invites other members to join community and view video/materials and links

Family gets text reminder about appointment

Patient comes for appointment at Seattle Children’s Hospital and learns from care team

Care team posts more information in community for family to see when they log back on

Patient prepares for follow-up visits or procedures

Family is informed before, during and after visit

about digital health

Digital Health launched in October 2013 with a mission to enhance participatory healthcare and leverage the wisdom of clinicians, patients and Seattle Children's to transform healthcare delivery in the digital age.

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benefits of Virtual Handshake


Time together in clinic can be limited. The Virtual Handshake gives families the basic information they need before their visit, allowing the appointment time to be used for questions and answers specific to their child’s situation. With one video the same information can be shared with hundreds of patient families. The same is true for paper and online educational materials. By sharing and recommending condition-specific documents, links and resources, families are better prepared for the visit. Time together can then be more personal.


Virtual Handshake gives parents and caregivers access to information about their child’s condition at any time. With the educational content at their fingertips, Virtual Handshake reduces the need for paper printouts and extensive note-taking. By inviting others to the community, family that could not attend the appointment can also play an active role in listening, learning and engaging in the patient’s care. They can also help a family prepare for follow-up.


Because patient families are able to see and hear from their provider before the appointment, Virtual Handshake gives the relationship between the doctor and caregivers a solid foundation. The relationship continues through sharing follow-up videos, handouts and other links. We want to reduce redundant work for clinicians so that time spent with patients and families is more personal. This will build trust with families and improve their overall healthcare experience.


Parents and caregivers want to know more about their child’s condition. Virtual Handshake gives the patient and family an easy way to receive accurate, relevant information directly from their care team, without having to sort through some of the misinformation that is online. Families can choose to "follow" a doctor and receive education, research or other news they publish.

Virtual Handshake participants