New Web Site Design, Features

If you have visited our site in the last week, you have noticed the change in format.  We wanted to create a more open, inviting space for all those who visit our site.  In addition, we wished to make our site more “mobile-friendly.”  So to this end we have redesigned our web site.  Here are the key new features:

Is Your Child Sick ™ Symptom Checker

We know that one of the reasons you visit medical web sites is for answers about your child.  Do you need to call the doctor?  Do you need to make an appointment? What do you need to look for? What can you do until your child can be seen?  We hope that this feature helps you with some of these answers.  Use this as a guide for common conditions and symptoms.  Of course, if you feel this is an emergency, please call us.  We have also made it easier to reach us, with active click phone numbers (when the site is viewed on a mobile phone).

Mobile-friendly platform

We have made the site more usable for you if you are accessing us from your phone or a tablet device.  The web site changes as it is “responsive” to changes in the resolution of the device you are using.  No more tiny print or trying to zoom in to click on a certain item.  Also the symptom checker is fully active in this mode as well.  As an added feature, if you click on the “Contact Our Offices” tab, all of our phone numbers will appear. When you press on the phone number, you can call that number directly (no more going back to your contacts or phone book).  We have designed this so the most important features show up on the screen no matter what device you are using at the time.

For the future

We hope to be adding some videos and updating some of our links and PDF files over the next few weeks to months.  Thanks so much and don’t forget to add our web site to your FAVORITES on your phone, tablet, or computer!

Updated COVID-19 Testing Criteria

This is an updated COVID-19 testing pre-screening criteria we are now using in our offices, to send patients to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Testing Center.
Note that the CDC does NOT recommend routine screening in asymptomatic individuals before entering schools, as these tests can be misleading.

Most COVID 19 testing is done through Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) testing center; we prescreen to see if your child meets the testing criteria:

Nationwide Children’s Pre-Screening Criteria for COVID-19:

Child has current symptoms of FEVER or PERSISTENT COUGH AND meets ONE OR MORE of the following criteria:

• Child has an immunocompromising condition (related to illness itself or its therapy) or chronic, higher-risk cardiac* or chronic pulmonary disease (not including asthma)**

• Known in-person exposure to CONFIRMED case of COVID-19 within previous 14 days

• Child lives in the same household as someone who is older than 65 years of age or who has an immunocompromising condition

• Child lives in the same household as a health care worker or first responder

• Child attends group daycare outside of the home

** Asthma and diabetes are excluded given lack of evidence in pediatric patients that these underlying diseases are associated with greater morbidity during COVID-19 illness.

If your child does meet these criteria, call our office and receive instructions on how to obtain testing.

Your child does not meet the criteria for testing. Please call you doctor’s office during business hours Monday-Friday 8AM to 4:30 PM to inquire about an order for testing.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures for In-Office Visits

In order to keep newborns, disabled and chronically ill patients and families as safe as we can, we now require that ALL visitors and patients over age 2 wear a face covering in order to be seen. Please wear yours to and during the visit. Homemade face coverings are welcome. Please remember this is NOT a political statement but a medical one to protect you and our staff.

• We ask that you be limited to one adult/parent/guardian for each visit unless there are specific circumstances which prohibit this.

• If you or your child are not well, we ask that you call to reschedule any well visits.

• Temperatures will be taken at the door and anyone with fever or respiratory symptoms will be asked to return during our ill appointment or telehealth times.

• Check-ins are being done remotely through your devices.  Once in the office parking lot and registration has been completed, call the office to notify us that you have arrived and you will be asked to wait in your car until notified that someone will meet you at the door to be roomed.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING!

Our New Normal

Like all of you, Pediatric Associates is looking forward to getting back to normal and for all of us, normal may look a little different.

Beginning May 4th, Pediatric Associates will begin to see well visits in the morning and ill visits in the afternoon for all patients at all locations AND we will continue to have virtual visits for certain types of illness and behavioral appointments. We have begun the process of moving checkups from afternoon to morning and we are calling those families who had appointments cancelled while we obeyed the stay-at-home guidelines. You can resume calling to schedule well care.
Thank you for your patience.

· At this time we very strongly recommend that all visitors and patients over two wear a face covering or mask to protect yourselves, your children, and our employees.

· Also, we must require you to limit to one adult/parent/guardian unless there are specific circumstances that prohibit this.

· If you or your child are not well, we ask that you call to reschedule any well visits.

You may see some other new procedures such as temperature taking for all entering, including our staff. We will continue to room patients from “curbside” rather than the waiting room. You may be directed to enter or exit from a different door or call us back for your next appointment rather than going to the front desk before leaving. All of these procedures are part of the “new normal” as we work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while providing the same excellent care with the same fantastic physicians you know and love.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

A Message From Pediatric Associates

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Pediatric Associates.  During these past 60 years, our mission has always been to partner with our patients and families to promote the health and well-being of the NEXT generation.

With recent events, we realize our role has had to change.  But our role has changed only because our mission has remained the same—to partner with our patients and families to promote the health and well-being of the NEXT generation.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has upset life for us all.  It has ultimately caused us change the way we care for our patients.  We, like others, have had to decrease our office hours, limit physician and staff presence, and include the new world of virtual medicine.  Change is not easy for us, but be assured we will adapt and do whatever is necessary to be there for you.

We resolve to be here at least another 60 years.  We look forward to a more “normal” way of living, and caring for your children.  This outbreak has forced us to start several major changes.  Some of these changes will be temporary, and a few will be the “new normal.”  We will continue to:

  • Follow the recommendations of the CDC, the ODH, and our governor in keeping you and your children safe and healthy, and do the same for our staff.
  • Offer “virtual” telehealth visits, so we can connect with you and address your concerns in a remote way.
  • Share updates as we get them.  The situation is changing constantly, so follow our social media channels and our website closely.

Lastly, while this is a time of great distress, we can still see, during this time of year, signs of RENEWAL.  Trees are blooming.  Grass is green again.  Even when humans are sheltering-in-place, nature is thriving.

And, at Pediatric Associates, we will embrace this renewal, to find ways to better serve you, and your children, and your children’s children.  Thanks for choosing us, and sticking with us through all of this!  We plan on not coming out of this the SAME.  We plan on coming out of this BETTER. We love you all dearly.

UPDATED: CURRENT COVID-19 TESTING CRITERIA FOR PEDIATRIC PATIENTS

The drive-through COVID-19 testing site continues to operate on the main campus of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Because of continued limited testing supplies only children who meet the criteria below will be tested.  Also, because of the number of tests being run, there is now a 7-10 day wait for results to come back.  If your child has been tested, please be patient.  The lab calls us as soon as they have the results.

Current (as of 4/6/20) COVID-19 Testing Criteria for Pediatric Patients:

IF PATIENT HAS SYMPTOMS of fever or persistent cough PLUS either A or B:

A. A significant underlying medical condition (specifically immunocompromising condition related to illness itself of its therapy or chronic pulmonary or chronic, higher-risk cardiac disease* NOT including asthma)
B. A high risk exposure factor: In-person exposure to a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 within previous 14 days.

*Children who still need major heart surgery, are blue, have only 1 pumping chamber or have problems with heart failure

Telemedicine “Virtual” Visits: Tips for a GREAT visit with us online!

Virtual Visits are Here!

To meet your needs in the time of COVID-19, and to continue to provide convenient access to your doctors, Pediatric Associates is now offering TELEHEALTH (“virtual”) visits from the comfort of your own home.  Certain visits will be appropriate for this service, but others WILL require an in person visit (such as ear pain, strep tests, or flu tests, for example).  If your child has an illness or a visit that is appropriate for a virtual visit, here are some helpful hints to make sure it is a good visit.

Your Home

  • Have the child in a well-lit room, that is quiet, and free of distractions (such as a video playing loudly).
  • We know this is your home.  Don’t be embarrassed by other kids running around (we want to say hi!), pets, or even dirty dishes.  We understand.  We have kids, pets, and dirty dishes too.

Your Equipment and Logging In

  • Smartphones are the BEST!!  Later model iPhones or Samsung Galaxy offer the best video and audio for these visits.
  • Try to log in about 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • Please use the patient’s name (not yours) when you are asked to enter a name on the screen.
  • Do the “Pre-Call Test” (button in the bottom left corner of the screen) to help us have the best connection.

Useful Tools

  • A flashlight (or other light source) that is NOT the phone you are using for the visit
  • A thermometer (or have taken your child’s temperature before the visit)
  • Your child’s most recent weight (or a scale where you can weigh them)
  • The name and location of your pharmacy, if we need to send in a prescription
  • For ADHD medication followups, click vanderbilt-assessment-parent-follow-up to download and fill out a Vanderbilt form to complete before the visit.
  • For depression and/or anxiety visits, click GAD&PAIweb and PHQ9PAIweb to complete these forms prior to the visit.

The Visit

  • The doctor will ask you questions and ask you to help us with your child’s physical exam.
  • We may ask you to undress your child so we can see rashes, or if she/he is having a hard time breathing.
  • We may also ask you to shine a light down your child’s throat, press on his/her belly, or take a temperature.
  • NOTE: it is possible that we determine your child DOES need to come in to the office for an “in person” visit.

Relax!

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Encourage your child to do so as well.
  • If your child has a favorite toy, or wants to introduce a family pet, we want to see that!  You are ALL part of our family.

Recommended COVID-19 Resources For Families

There are many good resources for families on the Internet for COVID-19.  We’ve picked a few that we feel are reliable and reasonable, and have listed them here.

HealthyChildren.org (sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics)

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

Ohio Department of Health

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/Family-Activities/Resources-for-Parents-and-Families

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/health-wellness-and-safety-resources/covid-19

Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Ohio-AAP-COVID-19

Important Patient Flow Changes At Pediatric Associates

In order to keep with public guidelines and protect our patients, we have made the following changes in scheduling patients:

Separation of ill visits and well visits

  • All WELL visits will be moved or scheduled in the MORNINGS at each office.  This also includes non-sick visits for behavioral health concerns (ADHD, anxiety, etc.).
  • All SICK visits will be scheduled in the AFTERNOONS at each office.  If your child is severely ill and you feel needs seen earlier, please call our office to speak to a phone triage nurse who will guide you to care.

Limiting Walk-In Immunization Hours

  • We will be offering our walk-in immunization hours ONLY in the mornings (during the WELL visit time) until further notice.
  • If your child is sick, please do not bring her/him in for this walk-in service.

Spirometry and Asthma Visit Changes

  • For our asthma patients who are coming in for spirometry, we will be only scheduling these visits in the MORNING hours.

Regarding Sick Siblings during WELL visit times (mornings)

  • We realize that with the schools being closed this will be difficult, but we ask that you please DO NOT bring in any sick siblings or relatives with you and your child to any of the WELL clinic times.  We want to make sure that there are no sick children in the office during our well visit hours.  Please make other arrangements for them during these visits.
  • If you can’t make other arrangements for sick siblings, please call our office to reschedule the well visit.

THANK YOU for your patience, your trust, and your understanding!

UPDATED: Important Coronavirus Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Questions for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

(Adapted from the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–Revised 3/13/2020)

How does COVID-19 spread? 

The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person

  • Between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes

When are people with COVID-19 the most contagious?

  • People infected with the virus are most contagious when they are the sickest
  • Symptoms may take up to 2-14 days to appear after exposure

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Who is at risk for severe disease from COVID-19?

  • So far, most  severe disease and deaths have occurred in elderly people and in people with underlying medical disease, especially that which compromises the immune system.
  • Infection in children appears to be asymptomatic or mild.  
  • While elderly patients have more severe disease, nearly 40% of US hospitalized patients were aged 20-54.
  • There have been a small number of deaths in children.  The risk of death is much higher in the elderly.

How can COVID-19 infection be prevented?

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid large gatherings of people.
  • Postpone travel.

Should I wear a mask to prevent COVID-19 infection?

  • No – masks do not protect a person who does not have the virus from getting the virus.  Some evidence suggests that people who wear masks are more likely to touch their faces more frequently which could increase the risk of infection with COVID-19.
  • People who are infected with the virus should wear masks to limit the spread of the virus when they cough or sneeze.
  • Healthcare workers who are in contact with potentially exposed patients and especially when collecting swabs from potentially exposed patients should wear eye protection and mask.

Who should be considered for testing for COVID-19?

  • The CDC has opened up testing to physician’s discretion as the virus has spread throughout the nation and travel is no longer the primary cause of exposure.
  • Priorities for testing include:
    • hospitalized patients with severe respiratory disease,
    • older adults and people with chronic medical conditions, and
    • healthcare workers who have had direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or travelled to an area of risk in the past 14 days.

What advice are we giving to our patients?

  • Stay home if you do not need medical care.
  • If you are sick enough to require medical care, call your physician’s office to schedule an appointment.
  • Proceed to the emergency department ONLY IF YOU ARE SICK ENOUGH TO REQUIRE EMERGENCY CARE.

A Message About the COVID-19 Situation

The federal and state governments have taken judicious (not panicked) measures to protect us all from the spread of the novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19).  We agree with the principles of reducing risk by not attending mass gatherings and practicing social distancing.

We also believe at this time, it is still important for your child to keep up on well visit care, particularly as it pertains to needed immunizations.  We feel it would not be wise to postpone these visits, particularly for children under the age of two.  This could make them susceptible to other diseases.  

At Pediatric Associates, we will be doing everything we can to make sure your child is NOT put at risk by coming to our offices.  We have a protocol in place that helps us identify patients who may be at risk for COVID-19, and will isolate these patients.  We will rearrange schedules to reduce the chances that well children are not exposed to ill children.  We value the safety and health of your family, and the safety and health of our staff.

Please stay tuned to our website and social media pages for more updates as the situation is going to be rapidly changing.

Thank you,

The Pediatric Associates Family