“What if my child is sick and needs to be seen today?”
The answer to this question is a big part of what we feel defines the practice of pediatric medicine. No one is able to schedule when their child gets sick and often children get sick in large groups (for example, “flu season”).
- At RCAM, we are well aware of this challenge and put a premium on “seeing patients on the day they need to be seen” which can mean seeing them the day of the concern. Access to care is a big deal in our office.
- To that end, we do our best to meet this need when we have run out of appointments by having our phone nurse triage your child’s problem to determine if it can wait or if we need to create an appointment that day.
- There are two main ways an appointment is “created” after all regular appointments are scheduled:
- Work-in appointments are for more urgent medical concerns (for example, moderate-to-severe injury, acute breathing difficulty, fever in a newborn, etc.). We are careful to limit those appointments to truly urgent needs. Too many “work-ins” can hinder another office goal of running on time as much as possible.
- “5 O’Clocks” refers to our practice of simply adding patients to the end of the day. The doctors, nurse and front office staff have made a commitment to see these patients that we have determined should not be put off to the next day, even though it extends their workday. In pediatrics, some things just cannot wait until tomorrow.