Procedures for Resuming In-Office Appointments
As plans emerge to reopen society, we are committed to providing your family exceptional care and have carefully considered how to best support our patients during this time. Your family’s health and safety is our top priority as we implement procedures to resume in-office appointments beginning MONDAY, June 1, 2020.
Our goal is to maintain our office as a COVID-free environment, and to prevent the further spread of this disease in our community. Please be assured that we are taking every step possible to make our office safe for patients and staff, and we aim to be one of the safest establishments you will visit during this pandemic. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with these new office procedures.
PREVENTION & SAFETY
Transmission of COVID-19 is mainly through respiratory droplets and close contact when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The CDC defines close contact as being within 6 feet or within a room or care area for a prolonged period without personal protective equipment OR having direct contact with secretions of a person with COVID-19 infection. SARS-CoV-2 is known to survive on surfaces for up to a week and in the air as aerosolized particles for up to 3 hours. The incubation period is thought to be 2-14 days. Patients are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic, however pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic patients can be contagious and able to spread the virus. The best way to avoid infection is to stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) away from other people. Many of our new procedures are designed to make this possible.
The CDC recommends the use of cloth masks in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The use of masks serves two purposes:
We have set up separate work areas for our employees so they can maintain a distance of at least 6 feet during most of their work day. Our employees will wear masks whenever their tasks require close contact with other employees, and they will wear masks whenever they are assisting patients.
For the protection of all patients and employees, we require everyone 2 years and older to wear a mask while they are in our office. If you don’t have a mask, we will provide one.
Cleaning & Sterilization
We have increased our regular, thorough cleaning, and clean commonly-touched surfaces with disinfectant throughout the day where appropriate. Additionally, we use UV light to sterilize surfaces and air in exam rooms between each patient and in our reception and waiting room at night.
APPOINTMENTS & SAFETY PROCEDURES
The following procedures are aimed at making our office one of the safest businesses you will visit during this pandemic.
Most appointments will be by TeleVisit or phone:
For TeleVisits, instructions on how to log in through the Healow application will be given to you prior to your appointment. We are temporarily lifting the requirement that patients need to be seen in the office for a physical exam at least once annually so that prescriptions, forms, and letters may be completed in a timely manner. A TeleVisit may be required before forms, letters and prescriptions can be completed. When shelter-at-home orders are lifted, we will again require a yearly physical exam to maintain care with our practice.
Supplement orders and pick-ups:
In the office, our reception will gather the supplements you need from the shelves for you. We ask that you try to place supplement orders in advance, as opposed to walk-in purchases, so we can have them packaged up and ready for you in advance. All pick-ups are no-contact. Supplements will be placed in a paper bag with your name clearly labeled on a shelf just inside our front door. Hours for supplement pick-up are Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm.
We are open for supplement orders by email or phone Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm, and you may place orders anytime through my new online store Healthy Kids Happy Kids Store (https://store.HealthyKidsHappyKids.com). All supplements are stored and shipped from our office, there is a “Pick Up At Office” shipping option, and shipping is free for orders over $99.
SPECIFIC APPOINTMENT TYPES & DETAILS
Well-child and immunization appointments. All well-child appointments will now be performed in 2 parts:
Any child who is ill will be required to reschedule their in-office, well-child physical exam or immunization appointment until they are well. Please call us first thing in the morning of your child’s visit if you need to reschedule.
We are temporarily lifting the requirement that patients need to be seen in the office for a physical exam at least once annually before prescriptions, forms, and letters may be completed. When shelter-at-home orders are lifted, we will again require a yearly physical exam to maintain care with our practice. Please note that if more than a year has passed since your child’s last physical exam, you may be required to have a Televisit to complete certain forms, letters or prescriptions.
I encourage everyone to maintain the 30-minute Televisit portion of the well-care appointment so we can stay on top of optimizing your child’s growth and development. If you are able to weigh and measure your child’s height, these can be added to their Televisit. During the Televisit, we can determine whether the 15-minute in-person physical exam is necessary sooner rather than later. If new concerns have come up in between the Televisit and physical exam, you can schedule a follow-up Televisit first.
While I consider regular well-child appointments to be very important, during these extraordinary times, if your child is well and you have no concerns, it is not unreasonable to delay this appointment. Be assured that your child will remain a patient in our practice.
I am assuming schools will open on time in the fall, so when you are planning your child’s well-care appointments, please be sure to schedule them now if you will need an appointment before school starts. Summer is always surprisingly short, I want to make sure all our patients are prepared for school in the fall, and I anticipate late-summer appointments will fill up quickly.
Immunization appointments will proceed as scheduled. Please note that I am assuming school will start in the fall and that vaccine requirements will be the same and stringently enforced.
If you wish to reschedule or cancel your child’s existing well-child or immunization appointment, PLEASE call our office as soon as possible so that we may open that timeslot for another patient.
Lab review and other follow-up appointments:
All lab review or follow-up appointments will be done as TeleVisits or phone calls.
COVID-19 INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
A Holistic Pediatrician’s Guide to the Pandemic
I taught this free, online Masterclass on how to be prepared for COVID-19, with in-depth information on actions and supplements to support your child’s immune system and reduce the risk of serious infection. Please take the time to listen if you haven’t already.
Integrative & Functional Medicine Strategies for the Pandemic
I also created an online program where I go into much greater detail on how to strengthen our immune systems, specific supplement recommendations and dosages by age, and how to manage symptoms if you or your child gets sick with COVID-19.
Healthy Kids Happy Kids Blog
Finally, I have published a large amount of detailed information about COVID-19 and what we can all do to stay safe on my blog and my social media accounts on FaceBook and Instagram. I am continuously publishing any new information I think will benefit all of us as we try to stay healthy during this pandemic. I encourage you to use these resources and to let me know if you have additional questions.
Your family’s health and safety is our top priority. Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation in keeping our community healthy and safe during these uncertain times. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.