NEW BEGINNINGS PEDIATRICS POLICIES AND PRACTICES
In order to provide your child with the best possible medical care, and recognizing that each patient and clinical situation is unique, we agree on and are committed to several practices. Those most important to us are described as follows:
- We believe in the careful, or judicious, use of antibiotics, for the treatment of appropriate infections. Please understand that there are several important reasons that we have made it our policy not to prescribe oral antibiotics over the phone. First, the ill child needs to be evaluated in the office to determine the type and extent of infection, to make certain a more serious condition is not overlooked, and to choose the most appropriate treatment plan. Second, negative effects of antibiotic therapy, such as allergic reactions and diarrhea, are not uncommon, and can be serious. Third, treatment of viral illnesses such as colds with antibiotics not only fails to help, but also may be harmful.
- We believe in vaccinating all children according to the immunization schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and we have all had our own children immunized according to the recommended schedules. We believe in the effectiveness of our vaccines to prevent severe illness and death from diseases that our generation has been largely spared from suffering: polio, tetanus, whooping cough, and bacterial meningitis, to name a few. We believe in the safety of our vaccines and recognize that vaccine safety is the most intensively studied and conclusively proven area of medical research worldwide. There simply is absolutely no scientific evidence that any of our vaccines, or the formerly used preservative thimerosal, ever caused autism or any other developmental disabilities.
3. We also recognize, however, that much non-medical literature exists that questions the safety of vaccines. Furthermore, we respect that you, the parent, are the only person who must make these critical decisions about your child’s health, and then live with your decisions. Therefore, we will strive to provide you with the best and most thorough information and resources about vaccines, and we will listen carefully to your concerns and answer your questions thoughtfully. For families who choose not to vaccinate according to the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, we will ask that you sign a vaccine refusal form. For the most credible information on the topic of vaccine safety, please visit the following websites: cdc.gov/vaccines (Centers for Disease Control) and aap.org/immunization (American Academy of Pediatrics.)
- We recommend routine annual physicals for all children from three to 18 years old, even if they are “healthy.” This is because some potentially serious problems with a child’s health, such as high blood pressure, blood in the urine, failure to “thrive” or grow adequately, anemia, and developmental problems, can be so subtle as to go undetected until they have caused long-term consequences. We recommend children younger than three to come for routine well-child appointments according to the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This can be found in the FOR PARENTS section of our website.
- Refills for chronic medications require more frequent visits than once a year. For example, children on daily asthma preventative medications, whose condition is stable, should be seen at least every four months, and more frequently if the condition is not well controlled. The same is true if the child is growing and his or her dose needs to be changed accordingly. Other examples would include allergic rhinitis, acid reflux, and ADD/ADHD. While most parents recognize the importance of this policy, problems can occur if a medication runs out over a weekend or while the family is on vacation, and we are unable to provide a refill on a moment’s notice. We ask, therefore, that parents try to plan ahead (as much as they reasonably can) and to respect our insistence on re-evaluating the child for a refill if we deem it necessary.
- Follow-Up visits for certain issues require more frequent visits than once a year. The following are the office guidelines for follow-up visits: Allergies every 6 months, Steroid breathing, Wheezing, Pneumonia within 1 week, Constipation 2-3 weeks, Reflux 1-2 weeks, and Asthma upgrade in therapy 2-3 weeks after change and then 4 months.
- Regarding refill requests: We ask that you call our office for routine prescription refills during our regular office hours. In most cases, these will be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice. 24 hours’ notice is required for processing handwritten prescription refills. Examples of these would be refills of stimulant medication for the management of ADD, and 90-day refills to be mailed to your insurance company. We are happy to fax 90-day refills to your insurance company if you are able to provide us with the necessary information.
- We do not recommend the use of over-the-counter products for the relief of cough and cold symptoms. This is because there is absolutely no evidence that they provide any benefit, and, more importantly, because data has emerged in recent years that places their safety in doubt, particularly when used in children aged two and under. Furthermore, the use of a cough suppressant may, at worst, prolong the time it takes for a child to be diagnosed with acute bronchospasm or pneumonia and receive proper treatment.
- We do not recommend the use of prescription medications for the relief of nausea and vomiting without evaluating the child first, because of the obvious concern that a serious underlying condition such as dehydration or appendicitis could be missed, or a diagnosis delayed.
- Regarding “sibling add-ons” at the time of the visit, we will always do our best to accommodate the needs of our families. We ask that you call us prior to your child’s visit if possible, to arrange for this. That being said, if the provider’s schedule is full and subsequent appointments would become delayed, we will help you arrange the next available appointment that works for you. We offer ample same day sick appointment slots and will make every effort to have the sibling seen in the most efficient and suitable manner.
- If you arrive more than fifteen minutes late for your appointment, you may be asked to reschedule, in order to prevent long delays to other patients. This is considered by each provider on a case-by-case basis, and our primary goal is always to serve you and all our families as well as possible. If you are running late, please attempt to notify us prior to your arrival so that we may better serve you.
- If you fail to show for two appointments without calling to cancel, you will be billed for the second occurrence. Our staff makes an enormous effort to personally call and remind families of upcoming appointments. Please make every effort to notify us at least 24 hours in advance if you must cancel an appointment.
- If a referral is needed for a test such as a CT scan or an MRI, or for a visit to a specialist, please be aware that this typically takes two to three business days to process. The forwarding of a child’s medical record to a specialist’s office may take up to 7 business days.
- If your child’s medical record needs to be copied for transfer to another office, such as in a move, please allow 30 days to process this request, which will also incur a small fee.
- When we call you from our office phones, we will usually block the call, to prevent the number from showing up on your caller ID. That is because our additional lines are not connected to our answering service, and would go unanswered if someone were to call those numbers when our office is closed. We can ALWAYS be reached at our main number, (630) 232-7200.