Dowd Medical Associates

Update on Office Policies During Coronavirus Outbreak

To our patients,

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone and information regarding Coronavirus is changing rapidly.  So are our office policies!  What we do know is that children most often only have mild disease. However, they can easily get older family members and friends sick. Please be reassuring to your children that they will be fine, and that absolute attention to social distancing, good and frequent hand-washing and mask wearing can save the lives of others.

In order to prevent the spread of illness and continue to provide care in as safe a manner as possible, we have updated our policies within our office as follows:

GENERAL CHANGES:

  • We, like many medical practices, are utilizing telemedicine visits for visits that can be done safely without the need for an in-person physical exam. These may be acute sick visits as well as many consultative visits such as medication checks.
  • If an office visit is requested, even for a short portion of the visit for the physical exam, we will ask that only the patient and one adult be present for this visit; 
  • We have temporarily divided our rooms so that if you are in the office for a well visit or an injury, you will only be in a room that well patients are seen in, and sick patients are seen in separate spaces.   
    • All well visits and urgent non-illness visits will be seen in a designated "well room" and will enter through the front door. Rooms will be thoroughly cleaned between patients.
    • All sick visits will enter through the rear door and will be seen in a designated "sick room" downstairs that has been physically separated from the rest of the office. The room will be thoroughly cleaned between patients.
  • We will shorten our weekday office hours to Monday - Friday 9am - 5:30pm (ie no evening hours).  For now, we will continue to have Saturday/Sunday/holiday hours from 9am-12:30pm as usual.  Our providers will continue to be on call for all other urgent needs as usual. 

WELL VISITS - please enter through the FRONT DOOR ONLY: 

  • For well visits for a child AGE 2YRS AND OVER, we will be completing the "talking" or "counseling" part of the visit over the phone. 
    • Your provider will call you at the beginning of your appointment time to speak with you and/or your child over the phone while you are parked in our parking lot.
    • Once that portion of the visit is completed, you and/or your child will be directed to an assigned room in the building where the physical exam portion of the visit will be done.
    • IF you are coming in for a well visit we ask that you cancel and re-schedule if you or your child have any respiratory symptoms (sore throat, cold cough, sniffles) or a fever of any kind. 
  • For well visits for a child UNDER THE AGE OF 2YRS, we will continue to see you in the office as usual.
  • For all well visits - please call the office to discuss rescheduling if your child or anyone in your household has had contact with a covid + person, are waiting for pending coronavirus test results, or has any history of symptoms consistent with coronavirus, including:
    • Fever > 100 degrees F
    • Cough (not due to a known illness)
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Headache (if in combination with other symptoms)
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • Fatigue (when in combination with other symptoms)
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose (when in combination with other symptoms)

SICK VISITS FOR ILLNESS - please enter through the REAR DOOR ONLY:

  • Call our office as usual for any concerns about your child;  please DO NOT GO to urgent care, emergency care or just walk in without calling us first, unless you need to call 911.
  • Through more elaborate screening of sick patients, we will not be routinely seeing patients who have probable Coronavirus. We do not currently have testing available for all patients who need it, but we will be happy to discuss symptoms and concerns by phone or via a telemedicine visit, and advise on testing when necessary
  • If after elaborate screening we feel it is appropriate to have your child seen in our office, we ask that you wait in the car when you arrive. The office will call you to direct you to an assigned room via the BACK DOOR in the upper parking lot to enter the building.  PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR IF YOU ARE COMING FOR AN ILLNESS VISIT.

We are all working under new and unprecedented circumstances. The situation is fluid, and we will try to update our patients to any significant changes. If you think any member of your family could have Coronavirus or Influenza, please keep them at home and as separate from others as is possible. Do not bring sick children out to any place where there are other people including grocery stores or pharmacies. If your child is having any fever with difficulty breathing, noisy breathing, or fast breathing, please call our office for guidance. Do not bring your child to the office or ER without calling us first. 

Most importantly, in order to keep yourselves and your family, friends, neighbors and health professionals healthy, please remember to wear a mask when in public and continue to practice social distancing. Please know we all want to get through this in as healthy and safe a way as we can.

Your providers at Dowd Medical Pediatrics

***For up to date information on Coronavirus go to healthychildren.org OR cdc.gov/coronavirus

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