Urgent Care Clinics
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Your child’s health care is extremely important to us, and we strive to provide the highest quality care possible.  Your child’s physical exam or sports physical is much more than examining your child and signing a form.  Your child’s past history should be reviewed, including pertinent past medical problems, recent illness, family history, immunization records, allergies, growth and development, laboratory evaluations, and medication refills or adjustments—each of which is documented in your child’s medical chart—none of which is available at retail based walk-in clinics.  Your child’s pediatrician knows your child better than any other doctor, however, should you need a last-minute exam and cannot see your child’s pediatrician, another pediatrician in the group still has access to your child’s medical chart.  Furthermore, all of our providers are specifically trained in the screening and evaluation of pediatric and adolescent patients, and we follow professional guidelines and recommendations to that effect.

While retail-based clinics may be more convenient and less expensive, they are not able to provide the high-quality comprehensive care your child needs and deserves.  Further, if a potential problem is identified, you will likely be referred back to us, which will now require two visits making a seemingly convenient and less expensive visit, less convenient and more expensive.  Although many physical exams seem relatively quick and routine, there is much that goes into ensuring that your child is healthy and able to safely participate in sports.

Although we appreciate the convenience of these clinics, they are not able to provide the comprehensive care that your child deserves.  Also, they cannot provide the continuity of care that is critically important to both the acute and long term care of your child.  When you go to these clinics, continuity is interrupted, your child’s medical record will be incomplete, and it will be more difficult for us to appropriately treat your child at subsequent visits.  At these clinics, in the absence of your child’s complete medical history, it is difficult to treat or prescribe in the most appropriate manner.

We offer extended hours to accommodate our acutely ill patients.  We offer our patients same-day appointments along with seasonal walk-in hours.  Please take note of our extensive and patient-accommodating office hours.

Generally speaking, sore throats are not urgent and can wait until the next day to be seen.  Most sore throats are caused by viruses, but a significant percentage are caused by strep.  Even when strep is the cause, waiting until the next day is often not harmful.

Urgent care centers do not have access to your child’s medical record, increasing the chances that a less effective treatment may be used.  Further, starting an antibiotic without a positive strep culture is potentially harmful—too often negative rapid strep tests are treated with antibiotics unnecessarily.
 
If your child’s sore throat is accompanied by other worrisome symptoms or circumstances (not limited to difficulty breathing, inability to swallow, drooling, pain when opening their mouth, or you suspect they may have swallowed a foreign body—i.e. a coin, battery etc...), you should call the on-call doctor and/or take your child to the hospital emergency room.

Before you go to the emergency room, consider what services you really need and how urgent, your child needs to be seen.  The emergency room is just that—for emergencies.  An emergency constitutes something that is life threatening, or if it is after office hours, something that cannot wait until the next day.  If your concern is not life-threatening, you likely have time to call or page the on-call doctor.  Our pediatricians are happy to assist in determining whether or not you need to go the ER.  Furthermore, if your child needs to be evaluated in the emergency room, our pediatricians can help coordinate your child's care prior to your arrival.

Walk-in Sick Clinic
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The walk-in sick clinic is for new onset acute problems only.
Patients are seen in the order in which they arrive and may not be
seen by their primary pediatrician. We cannot accommodate requests to
see a particular physician.

Follow-up visits from previous illness and/or concerns regarding
chronic problems require a scheduled appointment with your primary
care pediatrician, and is not appropriate for walk-in sick clinic.

If you need to see a particular physician regarding a concern, a
scheduled appointment is necessary.

Illness
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As a service to our patients, when the office is closed, there is always one of our own pediatricians who is on-call and available to talk with you if your concerns cannot wait until the next business day.  After-hour concerns fall into one of three categories:

 

 

Example

What to do?

Non-urgent concerns

Routine questions,
Chronic problems,
Normal coughs,
Colds,
Sore throats

These concerns can often be addressed the following business day when the office is open

Urgent concerns

Concerns that cannot wait until the next business day, but can wait to be answered within 1 hour time.

Before 10pm:

Call our number, press 1 and leave a message (name and phone number is all that is needed)

After 10pm:

Call our number, press 0 to page the doctor and enter your call-back phone number.

Concerns that require a return call within 5-10 minutes.

Call our number, press 0 to page the doctor and enter your call-back phone number.

Medical emergencies

Concerns that require immediate medical attention and are life threatening.

Call 911.

*     If you do not receive a call back in the expected period of time (1 hour for messages left and 5-10 minutes for pages), PLEASE CALL BACK.  There are many technical reasons the pediatrician may not receive the message or page, so please try again.

 

Because there is variation in “normal” body temperature, there is no defined number for a fever, but the following are generally accepted guidelines:

Rectal temperature greater than 100.4F (38C)
Oral temperature greater than 99.5F (37.5C)
Axillary (armpit) temperature greater than 99F (37.2C)

If you are concerned your infant (less than 1-year old) has a fever, measure a rectal temperature.  Other methods may not be as reliable, which is why we recommend that you take your infant’s temperature rectally.  Any fever in an infant less than 2-3 months requires an EMERGENCY phone call to our office!

Also, if your child feels warm to the touch, it does not necessarily mean your child has a fever.  In this case, we recommend you take your child’s temperature.

Call us immediately if the fever is greater than 105, or if it is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

►    your child is less than 2-3 months
►    your child is crying inconsolably or whimpering
►    your child is crying when moved or even touched
►    your child is difficult to awaken
►    your child’s neck is stiff
►    your child’s skin has purple or red spots/dots
►    your child has breathing difficulty
►    your child is drooling saliva and is unable to swallow anything
►    a convulsion (seizure) has occurred
►    your child looks “very ill”
►    your child has a severe headache
►    your child has severe vomiting
►    your child is complaining of any joint pain and that joint is red/swollen
►    your child has an area on his/her body (including below the eyes) that looks infected (a red/swollen/warm area that is getting bigger or has a red streak extending from it)
►    your child has an underlying condition and your pediatrician has instructed you to call anytime your child has a fever
►    other worrisome symptoms
 

Not all fevers need to be treated.  A fever HELPS your body fight the infection.  Fevers that result from infection do not harm your child, but often make your child feel less comfortable. We treat fevers to help your child feel more comfortable.  When fevers are lower, children tend to eat and drink better, which is beneficial.  If your child has a fever and does not appear uncomfortable, you can safely observe your child without using a fever reducer.

Both acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) and ibuprofen (i.e. Motrin/Advil) have been shown to be safe and effective for lowering fever in children.  While Ibuprofen can be upsetting to the stomach, either drug is okay to use.  Always wait the recommended dosing interval before repeating a dose: Ibuprofen 6-8 hours, and Tylenol 4-6 hours.  And NEVER alternate the two drugs as this is potentially dangerous and can be toxic to your child’s kidneys and liver.  Always follow the age-appropriate dosing.  [See dosing chart.]  Or ask your child’s pediatrician if you have questions about how much or which drug to give.  If one drug does not seem effective, you can make a one-time switch to the other, but it is never advisable to alternate between the two drugs.

In addition, you can place your child in a tepid (luke warm) bath.  Make sure the bath water temperature is not too cool.  If the water is too cold and your child begins to shiver, you can unintentionally increase your child’s temperature.  NEVER do an alcohol rub—this can be potentially deadly.

This can often be normal.  A fever may return as the effect of the medication wears off.  If you are concerned that the medication is not effective, you may try other measures such as placing your child in a tepid (luke warm) bath, applying cool washcloths to the forehead or back of the neck, and offering cool beverages or popsicles.  It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep your child well hydrated during fevers.  If you have concerns that you are unable to manage your child’s fever, call your child’s pediatrician.

It is more important to record the temperature as measured and the method by which you took the temperature.  Do not add or subtract to the measured temperature.

Most rashes that occur when a child is taking a medication are not allergic reactions nor are they serious.  However, if your child develops a rash while on a medication, stop the medication, call our office, and we will determine whether your child needs to be seen.   

If your child, however, has any of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing, tingling or swelling of the tongue or mouth, wheezing, tightening of the airway, or difficulty swallowing, call 911.

Dehydration is a common side effect of vomiting and diarrhea.  The best way to rehydrate or maintain adequate hydration in your child is to provide oral fluids—if possible.  Keys to oral rehydration are as follows.

- If your child is not vomiting, give oral fluids as much as is tolerated to maintain hydration.

- If your child has been vomiting, it is recommended that you wait approximately 1 hour from the last episode of vomiting before offering oral fluids.  At this time, only offer your child a small amount of fluid (typically 1/2 - 1 ounce, but infants can be given as little as 1 tsp).  Five to 10 minutes later, you can offer this small amount again.  Do this for approximately 1 hour.  If tolerated thus far, you can slowly increase the amount you give your child.  Once your child tolerated oral fluids without vomiting for 12 - 24 hours, you can slowly begin to introduce solid foods back into the diet.  If vomiting persists, you should call our office.

If your infant will not tolerate breast milk or formula, oral electrolyte solutions (i.e. Pedialyte) are an excellent substitute.  These electrolyte solutions are also an excellent oral rehydration fluid for older children.  Juices, soda, and water are NOT appropriate rehydration fluids.  If you have additional concerns or are unable to adequately hydrate your child, call our office for further direction.

Signs of dehydration may include:
►    decreased urination or significantly fewer wet diapers,
►    dry mouth,
►    lethargy,
►    wrinkly skin (when pinched),
►    no tears when your child cries.

Physicals
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The purpose of routine physical exams is to ensure the complete health of your child.  A complete physical includes a detailed history taken by your child’s pediatrician, assessment of growth (evaluating changes in weight, height, and body mass index over time), age appropriate developmental and psychosocial screening, appropriate vaccine administration, accident prevention, and basic nutritional counseling.

Subtle growth abnormalities can be the first symptom of an underlying health condition.  When several years pass between physicals and a potential growth problem is noted, it is much more difficult to determine when the growth problem started and if the problem is still occurring.  While your child may appear quite healthy (and most are!), many health problems can first be identified during a routine physical.  Further, this is an opportune time to raise other concerns that you may not have thought warranted a separate visit.  Your child’s pediatrician can help determine whether your concern can adequately be answered during the time allotted for a routine physical or whether a separate appointment is necessary.

Adolescents are complicated to say the least.  There are many aspects of their psychosocial development that can be perceived as embarrassing and/or uncomfortable and consequently go undiscussed even among the most close-knit of families.  It is important that we develop a trusting relationship with your child such that they can speak freely without fear of being judged, reprimanded, or embarrassed.  This helps foster a healthy doctor-patient relationship as your adolescent develops into a young adult.  Please note that we are all bound by sensible laws that require us to break confidentiality when the patient is at risk to injure him/herself or others, and we take this very seriously.  At Pediatric Specialists, we value this time with our adolescent patients and believe it to be a vital part of the appropriate care of the adolescent patient.

Making appointments 
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(1) Bring a written list of questions.  This helps make the visit more efficient.  It takes more time to call the physician back into the room than it does to discuss your concerns in one sitting.  (2) Bring already-completed forms to your visit:
 
Routine or school physicals will typically require any or all of the following:
►    sports physical form
►    physical exam and immunization clearance form
►    school medication release form
►    prior medical records (if a new patient)
►    immunization records from other pediatric practices or county department of health
►    age appropriate screening questionnaires which can be downloaded from our website [link to timeline]
 
Follow-up sick or chronic visits:
►    If your doctor has given you forms at your last visit, please bring them completed and ready for review.  Examples include asthma follow-up questionnaires or ADHD parent/teacher questionnaires.
 

Your child's health is important to us, and we want to make sure that we address all of your concerns.  Even parents of our healthy patients will have concerns that require and deserve extra time.  The best way to ensure that your pediatrician is not rushed and is able to address your concerns is to inform the receptionist or triage nurse about your specific concern(s) and that you may need additional time. 
 
Scheduling in this way not only benefits you, but also respects patients who have appointments following your child’s visit.

We understand that sometimes new concerns arise after you have already made your child’s appointment.  If this is the case, it is helpful to notify the office so that we can determine if it is appropriate to lengthen or change your appointment time to better accommodate your additional concerns.  Alternatively, you may keep your original appointment, however please note, if you do have multiple long-standing or chronic concerns, it may be necessary to schedule an additional appointment to appropriately and thoroughly discuss each of your concerns.  You and your pediatrician will discuss the higher priority concerns and address those first, deferring lower priority concerns for another visit.

Often long-standing concerns can wait an additional day.  In most cases it is best to wait and schedule an appointment with your primary pediatrician. 

There are circumstances when it may not be reasonable to wait a day for an appointment with your child’s primary pediatrician.  An example includes a chronic problem that has become acutely worse and requires immediate attention.  Another example is when your child’s primary pediatrician is out of the office for a longer period of time; it is then appropriate to schedule an appointment with another of our pediatricians who will then communicate your concerns when your pediatrician returns.  If you are unsure whether to schedule an appointment or wait until your pediatrician returns, call our office.
 

There are several reasons for this.
 
Doctors schedule appointments based on a pre-existing template.  Not every patient fits into that template.  The duration of your child's appointment depends on many variables:  1) the acuity or complexity of your child's illness, 2) the number of parental concerns, 3) the preparedness of the caregiver, and 4) the preparedness of the physician.  Scheduling can also be delayed by prior patients arriving late for their appointments and unexpected emergencies earlier in the day.  Even first morning appointments can run late depending on whether your pediatrician had more complicated patients in the hospital the morning of your child's appointment.
 
A child who is acutely ill or who has complex medical problems may require more time than the average patient.  Similarly, parents who have multiple concerns need to schedule more time with the doctor.   Please note, that if you have multiple long-standing or chronic concerns, it may be necessary to make more than one visit to appropriately and thoroughly discuss each of them.  You and your pediatrician will discuss the higher priority concerns and address those first, tabling lower priority concerns for another visit.
We also understand that the primary caregiver cannot always accompany the child into the office.  Please note that anyone other than the primary caregivers typically do not give thorough and effective histories of what the concerns are and therefore cannot effectively answer all of the doctor's questions.  These visits usually take more time. 

To best be prepared for your child’s visit with their pediatrician, refer to the FAQ above. Click Here  

 We strive to schedule your child's appointments appropriately based on the acuity and complexity of your child's illness and the number of concerns you have.  When scheduling your child's appointment, kindly notify the scheduling receptionist or triage nurse if you think your child may need a lengthier visit because of any of the above reasons or any other reason.
 
We realize your time is very valuable, and we do our best to schedule everyone so they can be seen in a timely manner. 
 
While we don't anticipate emergencies that put our pediatricians behind schedule, please note that should your child require such immediate medical attention at any time during the day, your child will receive the same comprehensive and thorough care.  We appreciate your understanding when this is the case.
 

Administrative
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Yes, your insurance card is needed to keep your account up to date and accurate.

Yes, however you should check with your insurance company regarding co-pays on visits. We charge a $10 administration fee if a co-pay is not paid at the time of service.

Yes, please come 10-15minutes early. This will facilitate a timely visit with your physician.

Please bring all papers given to you at the hospital with information regarding your newborn, such as weight, date of Hepatitis vaccine, hearing screen, blood types, etc...

Make sure you have informed your insurance company of the baby’s birth. Many insurance plans allow parents to add a newborn only within the first 30 days, some insurance plans allow even less time. Check with your insurance plan or employer for specific guidelines. We need your newborn’s insurance information by the 2-week visit so please call our billing office at 847-304-4998 with that information as soon as possible. Unless we can verify insurance coverage for your newborn, you will be expected to pay in full at time of service.

You should contact your insurance company within 24 hours.

Each insurance policy has different requirements. Call your insurance company for more information.

Please call our office if you are going to be late or cannot keep your appointment, the phone staff can assist you with rescheduling if necessary.

If your insurance requires a PCP and one of our providers is not listed, this may result in the charges being denied by your insurance and you being responsible for all dates of service.

Most insurance plans have a website that you can access or you can call the customer service number located on the back of your ID card.

Call the billing department to make payment arrangements. 847-304-4998.

Yes, there is a $50 fee for missed appointments. If you cannot keep your appointment, call within 24 hours of your child’s scheduled appointment to reschedule and avoid the $50 missed appointment fee.

Notice of Privacy Practices
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