Virtual Handshake: care that begins before you visit

The Virtual Handshake, a new digital health solution, is designed to give patient families information about the doctors and care team they’ll meet during visits, relevant education and tips, care coordination and online educational links before, during and after their appointment or hospital stay. The care team will do the web search for you! By sharing what clinicians know in a one-to-many format, all within a private community, we’ll work to facilitate deeper understanding about a child’s health condition. Parents, friends, relatives, and outside providers can all be invited. Unlike any other tool, 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.

How Virtual Handshake Works

Seattle Childrens

Primary care doctor refers patient to Seattle Children’s Hospital

Family/Patient schedules appointment and gets invitation to Virtual Handshake

Family/Patient logs on to the Virtual Handshake online community

Family is greeted by a video from their provider along with educational materials (including maps,PDFs and videos) about their child’s condition..

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 virtual handshake

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benefits of Virtual Handshake


Time together in clinic can be limited. The Virtual Handshake helps reduce redundancy by removing the need to repeat the same "script" (e.g. explaining a particular condition) over & over again. 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 alternative 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 to ensure the material is committed to memory. 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, the Virtual Handshake gives the relationship between the doctor and caregivers a solid foundation. The relationship is further solidified by sharing follow-up videos, handouts and other links to continue the education sharing. This builds trust with the family and hopefully improves their overall hospital experience.


Parents and caregivers want to know more about their child’s condition. Virtual Handshake gives the patient and family a channel to receive accurate, relevant information directly from their care team, without having to sort through the mountains of misinformation available online. Families can choose to "follow" a doctor and receive education, research or other news about the condition(s) that doctor publishes.