Some of this is changing weekly or even daily based on our State orders and local clinical experience. Our goal is to provide the best possible care for you while avoiding undue risk to you and our staff.
Our Safety Plan:
- Your waiting room is now your car! Our waiting rooms are closed to limit the number of people in our building at one time and to maintain social distancing. Patients check in virtually and wait in their car until their nurse is ready to take them directly back to the exam room.
- We screen each patient/parent during virtual check in for any COVID symptoms, exposure or travel risk. If you answer yes to any of these, do not worry, we will still take care of you! This just helps us prepare how and where we conduct the visit.
- To minimize exposure, we ask that only one adult accompanies patients to in-office visits and that other family members remain at home whenever possible. The accompanying adult should be free of any illness. (We know that moms of newborns may need some assistant at their visit. Two adults are allowed for newborn visits.)
- Only well children/adults are allowed into the building.
- All rooms are sanitized before and after every visit along with more frequent cleaning of doorknobs and shared surfaces.
- All sick visits are seen via telemedicine. If determined that the patient needs to be seen for an exam or swab, the patient is seen outside in our open-air exam room, i.e. tent. Providers and nurses will be in full PPE for the visit.
- Lactation appointments are still available in office or via telemedicine. In office appointments are seen in a room dedicated to well parents and babies only. The room is located in an area set apart from regular clinic exam rooms.
- As mandated by the CDC, all patients over 2, accompanying parent and all staff wear masks while in the building. If you do not have a mask, please bring something to cover your nose and mouth. We are not able to give you a mask as we need to conserve our supply for our staff.
- All doors that are not exam room or bathroom doors are propped open to prevent touching surfaces and the potential spread of germs.
- Our floor in front of check out has been marked to help patients physically distance.
You may be wondering whether it is safe to bring your child in for your child’s well visit during this pandemic. Our answer is “Yes, it is still important to keep up with preventive care!” If you’re wondering why….
- For young babies and toddlers, there is a great amount of growth and development that happens in the first few years of life. A lot can change in just weeks or a couple months. Well visits help us make sure your child is meeting critical developmental milestones and growing appropriately. The earlier we can detect a possible issue, the better.
- Regular well visits keep your child’s immunizations on track, which help avoid preventable illnesses.
- For patients with ongoing conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes, anxiety, depression, etc.), well visits are a chance to check in to see how your child is doing managing those conditions and discuss whether any adjustments need to be made.
- Our routines and daily lives have drastically changed over the past several weeks. It can be difficult for children to understand why they aren’t at school, can’t hang out with their friends, go visit grandparents, and why everyone is wearing masks. It is okay and normal for your child (and parents!) to feel more scared, anxious, and maybe depressed. If your family is having a hard time adjusting to the new normal, our caring providers are here to talk with you and connect you with any tools and resources you may need.
- As a bonus, keeping your child’s well visit now while schools are closed means they won’t have to miss school for an appointment later when classes are back in session.
The well-being of you and your children is important to us, and we feel that office based well child care should be continued during the Covid-19 crisis so long as it is possible and safe for us to do. We understand that the pandemic changes rapidly; therefore, if there comes a time we feel it has become unsafe to see patients in our office, we will notify our patients and update with a new plan. We value the trust you have shown us before and during this pandemic and assure you that we will always put the health and safety of your children and family, as well as our staff, as our primary goal.
In response to the growing number of cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the Greater Houston Area, we must continue to evolve as your medical home to continue to care for your children in the safest way possible. Below is a summary of changes we are making to our clinic beginning Monday, March 23:
- You will no longer be able to walk in to the walk-in clinic.
- All visits to our clinic must be scheduled with our office.
- To conform to current guidelines, we will allow only ONE parent/guardian to enter the building in addition to the patient(s) being seen for any sick visits. We will be happy to discuss the visit with any other legal guardian by telephone.
- We will be increasing the availability of our telemedicine services.
We will continue to see the important well visits for patients without symptoms of illness on the main side of our building. If your child is scheduled for a well visit, but your child also has fever or cough, we ask that you reschedule your well visit for when your child is well. We will be happy to see your child for his sick symptoms. All sick kids who need to be seen at our office will be seen on the walk-in side.
You may request an appointment to be seen for a sick visit in one of two ways – via our patient portal or by calling the office for an appointment. Your child’s symptoms will determine the appointment type. We will be doing our best to keep you from bringing in your sick child to our office for any visit that can be handled by our new telemedicine services. We will be able to handle many problems through this new service, and you will not even need to leave the comfort of your home! If during your telemedicine visit our provider determines that we should see you for further evaluation or testing in person, then we will arrange for you to come to our office in a timely fashion.
If you have not already registered for our patient portal, please contact our office so we can get you set up with this valuable tool. Also, if you have not registered for our telemedicine service, please do so at your earliest convenience. If you register now, it will greatly expedite your visit when the need arises. Please click Telemedicine for more information on how to register.
This is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone. Please know that all of us at Pearland Pediatrics will be with you every step of the way to ensure your children’s healthcare needs are always met.
- We will be closing our waiting rooms.
- We now have online check-in at our office. This will be utilized for all types of visits, including scheduled and walk-in visits. This allows you to check in from your vehicle, and you can be properly screened before entering our building. It also allows you to wait in your car to be roomed to prevent exposure to other people.
- Our doors to the clinic will remained locked to prevent unscreened individuals from entering the building. When we call you back to be roomed, we will open the front door to let you in.
- We will have one entrance devoted to patients and/or family members who have no illness, and a separate entrance for our patients and/or family members who have an illness.
- Our regular clinic entrance will be for people who have no fever or cough, such as well visits or injuries.
- Our walk-in entrance will be used for any patient who has an illness, whether it is a scheduled visit or a walk-in visit.
- We are asking that whenever possible, please bring only your children to the clinic who need to be seen by us.
- We will be starting to separate all well visits from sick visits this week.
- We will have designated well rooms.
- All patients or family members who have FEVER OR COUGH will be required to wear a simple face mask from the time they enter the building until the time they leave the building.
- We ask that you bring your own mask, if you have one. If you do not have one, then please try to bring an article of clothing that you can put over your mouth or nose.
- The CDC recommends that people who cannot tolerate a mask (such as younger children) should have a tissue placed over their mouth and nose. We ask that you bring your own and hold it in place for the duration of your visit.
- If you cannot bring your own mask or tissue, we will supply you with one. PLEASE keep in mind that our number of masks is limited, and it will be difficult for us to replenish our supply given the worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment. Maintaining our supply of masks is critical for us to continue to serve you safely.
- All employees at Pearland Pediatrics who have direct patient contact may be wearing simple face masks.
- The CDC considers any provider-patient encounter to have a low risk of spreading COVID-19 if both people are wearing a simple face mask – this means that by wearing masks at the office, it reduces the likelihood that we will require quarantine if we come in contact with a case of COVID-19. This is obviously an important step that we must take to stay open so we can continue to serve you and your families.
- We will not allow any of our employees to work while they show signs of any illness.
- We will be starting telemedicine visits sometime next week.
- This will allow us to see you from the comfort of your own home
- We will be able to see you for certain types of visits such as rashes, pink eye, and medication check-ups, to name a few.
- We will give more details on this when we officially roll it out.
- CDC COVID-19 page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- CDC travel notice: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
Other resources for parents:
- How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/coronavirus-kids-talk
- What Parents Need to Know About the Coronavirus https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/coronavirus-children-pregnant-women
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus