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 coughing into the elbow 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, have begun to switch visits over to telemedicine visits.  This will include any sick visit consultations that can be done safely without the need for a physical exam and the consultation portion of scheduled well visits (see below).  This will also include many consultative visits such as medication checks, extended medical visits for chronic active issues that shouldn’t be waiting another few months to address, visits for rashes etc. 
  • 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 upstairs and will enter through the front door. Rooms will still be thoroughly cleaned between patients.
    • All sick visits will enter through the rear door and will be downstairs. Rooms will still 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: 

  • If you are scheduled for a well visit in the next few weeks for a child AGE 2YRS AND OVER you will be notified by our office and this visit will be converted to a combined telemedicine visit with a very brief in office visit for vitals signs, vision screen and physical exam.  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. 
  • If you are scheduled for a well visit for a child UNDER THE AGE OF 2YRS, we will continue to see you in the office as usual but again ask that you cancel and reschedule if you or your child have any respiratory symptoms or fever of any kind. 

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 cannot test these individuals, but we will be happy to discuss symptoms and concerns by phone or provide you with a telemedicine visit. We will be extending our staff to help screen the larger volume of calls we are receiving. Please be patient while we try to triage your calls. Again, children with possible Coronavirus should stay home and be monitored. This is to protect your healthy children, as well as our staff. 
  • 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 until we are ready to see you and that you use 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, avoid gathering with people outside your immediate family, avoid taking everyone to the grocery store, avoid all public facilities, avoid sharing toys, especially balls. . . Instead enjoy coming up with fun jingles to sing while washing hands for 20 seconds. And 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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