We are continuing our journey with electronic health records in preperation for providing better care for your children. June 1st is only two weeks away and coming fast. While everyone is getting excited that summer weather is finally here, we at Bayshore are getting excited that electronic health record is finally here. We know that we are going be challenged with new ways of doing things and are ready to meet the challenge. Our primary goal though is to make sure that we are caring for what is most precious to you – your child or children – with the best care we have always given. To that end, we have made some changes to our schedules so that we can care for you as best as possible.
For the month of June we have reduced our schedules because it will take us a little longer to see patients at the start. We have specifically reduced the number of physicals we will see during this time so that we make sure we have time to see sick patients. We want to thank you in advance for your patience. During this time, we can definitely add you to a wait list for physicals and urgent care is available after 5:00 every night. We recognize that this is not ideal but feel this is the best way to care for the children we see.
We are currently scheduling appointments with the new electronic health record now. If you are calling to schedule more than one child, it may take a little longer for the new system. You will continue to receive calls reminding you of your appointment and reminders that it is time to make a physical appointment in the future.
So what is the good news about scheduling? The new system will allow us to schedule appointments while seeing other appointments that you might have across Children’s. This will help us not “double or in some cases quadruple book” families. In addition, the system makes it easier to add you to a wait list if the appointment given is too far out for physicals. This will help ensure children are seen when they need to be seen, especially for physicals that are needed for school or sports.
Coming soon: sometime in August you will be able to either request an appointment via email or schedule your own appointment, both through My Chart access. We will provide more information as this gets closer.
As we go through this, we hope that we are sharing with you ways that this will help you and your family. If at any point during this time or ever, you feel that your needs are not being met or you have questions, please feel free to let us know.
Next up: Check in – why do you always ask for my information and will you keep asking?
It has been a long time since our blog has seen activity. You will have to pardon us – we have been working on all the preparation needed to change to electronic health records. All of this work has taken up the spare time that we would normally spend writing the blog but it is good work. June 1st is our official date to change to electronic health records. Before this time we have used paper charts and a computer program that is separate from all of Children’s. We are excited to join the electronic health record era because it will bring some excellent benefits. From now until after June 1st, we will be sharing our journey, what you can expect, and what benefits we see. This is the first of many entries. Where to start? Let’s start at the beginning of your experience with us at Bayshore.
When you call to leave a message for the doctor, you will have a new experience. We will start by asking your child’s name and date of birth. Please do not be offended if we ask you to spell your child’s name. We are now accessing medical records and want to make sure that we have the right child. Once we have your child’s medical record up, we will ask for call back information, including your preferred pharmacy. We will also ask the reason for the call. Once we have all the information, we will forward this to your physician or the covering physician.
If you are calling for a prescription refill, the reception staff may be able to take the information or they may transfer you to the prescription line so that you may leave detailed information. More to come on prescription refills later.
A future plan is for the ability to send a message to your physician through My Chart. Look for more to come on My Chart.
Look for our next blog – Electronic Health Record Journey – Scheduling an appointment/
Until next time.
Influenza, the virus that causes the flu, has the ability to mutate every year. This is why everyone needs yearly flu shots. This year’s strain is particularly nasty, and is making everyone really sick. The flu can be spread as far as 6 feet away by coughing, and can live on surfaces for up to 8 hours.
People die of the flu each year. The more cases of flu, the more deaths there are. Who is most at risk from the flu? Children younger than 2, the elderly and anyone with compromised immune systems or chronic diseases. How can you protect yourself from the flu? Get your flu shot or flu mist! This year’s vaccine is a good match for the current flu strain. The other way to protect yourself and your family is frequent hand washing. You can help stop the spread of flu by staying home from work or school when sick.
Here are the top 5 ways to tell the difference between a cold and the flu:
- Kids are super sick and symptoms come on suddenly. The best description is that they suddenly feel like they were run over by a truck. They are in bed for days.
- High fevers from 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit that last for 4-5 days.
- Shaking chills, severe body aches and weakness.
- Bad sore throat, cough, congestion and headache.
- Dehydration caused by poor fluid intake.
- Kids are not that sick. They are crabby, but still play and act like themselves.
- Kids can run fevers for a few days, but generally not as long or as consistently high.
- Runny nose and cough are the main complaints.
- No muscle aches or body aches.
- Generally no problems with dehydration, although they may eat a little less.
So, what do you do if you think you or your child has the flu? Viral antibiotics DO NOT help. Treatment includes:
- Fever-reducing medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen
- Lots of fluids with electrolytes, such as Pedialyte or Gatorade.
There is an antiviral medicine available that can be given if started within the first 48 hours; however, it does have some side effects and you should talk to your doctor before starting it.
You should see your doctor if your child is younger than 1 and has flu symptoms, or if a child of any age is taking a turn for the worse. Call your doctor if you are not sure whether to bring them in. Visit the emergency room only if your child has breathing problems, severe dehydration or is sent by their doctor.
Viral season has hit already this year, and it is hitting pretty hard. Most of the viruses that we see through the winter time have decided to all come in December this year. While we have seen one virus type in December, a different one in January and the next one in February, this year they are all melding together. That means kids, teens and adults are getting sick and then just when they seem like they are better they get sick with the next virus.
THe viruses going around include para-influenzae (typically causes croup), influenza and respiratory syncitial virus (causes bronchiolitis in the infants and colds in older kids). They all have similar symptoms; cough, congestion, sore throats, high fevers (I have seen them as high as 105 but 103 is typical), and even some vomiting and diarrhea. It can be difficult to distinguish one virus from the other unless the child has the barky cough that goes with croup.
It doesn’t usually matter which virus your child has though since treatment is the same.
If you want to help your child with one of these viral syndromes you can try the following:
- make sure they are drinking lots of fluids
- run a cool mist humidifier in their room
- have steam parties during the day- get the bathroom all steamy and sit and play or read
books in there.
- if they are over 18 months offer honey 3-4 times per day
- cold medicines don’t offer much help and often have side effects that make a child feel
worse. They can also be dangerous if given to children under 5 years of age.
Tylenol and/or Motrin can be given to alleviate fevers and aches
Call our office or seek help if:
- your child seems short of breath
- your child is listless, won’t watch TV or read books because they seem to sick
- fever is lasting longer then 5 days
- symptoms seem to improve and then get worse again
- your child didn’t have a fever and then suddenly develops one 4-5 days into their illness
- you are just worried.
Try to limit exposure to others while your child is acutely ill. Typically we say if the fever has been under 100 for 24 hours without medicine they are ok to return to school. If they still seem sick it is better to stay at home then return to school- first you don’t want to pass the illness to others, secondly, while they are sick, their resistance is down which means they are more likely to pick up the next virus.
These viruses come every year. This year is a little earlier and a little harder, but it will pass. REmember to rest, drink lots of fluid, and wash hands well. Also, get your flu shot, it is not too late.
It has been awhile since Dr. Bencik’s son had pertussis or what we all know as whooping cough. The experience her family had, especially her son Jake, was difficult. Recently Channel 12 interviewed Jake and Dr. Bencik about their experience. Take a look at their first hand experience with pertussis and why we strongly recommend vaccination.
I went to a very interesting talk on puberty at the AAP conference. The guidelines defining when puberty can begin and still be normal have changed to age 7 for girls and age 9 for boys. It is one year earlier if the child is African-American. As you are probably thinking, this is EARLY. So why so early? No one really knows at this stage. We do know that obesity and better nutrition do play a strong role in the earlier puberty. One thing that has NOT been shown in studies to contribute at this time is estrogen in milk or soy. I specifically asked this question of the expert. So, if you want to give your child organic food and milk that is clearly OK. However, you do not need to feel that you are damaging your child if you opt out of the organic foods. Another interesting tidbit is that lavender has lots of estrogen in it, so you should not do daily massages with lavender oil.
Hope you liked my little tidbits from the conference. I definitely learned more than I blogged about. See you in the office!