First, we want to thank you and give you virtual high fives and hugs for your continued support and trust in our practice to care for your children during the COVID19 outbreak.
We join you in wanting things to return to normal, the way things were before COVID19, however the new normal is here and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
At Pediatrics West, we continue to try our best to meet these changes with an open heart, patience, & grace. We remain united in our efforts to care for your children safely. We are dedicated to working together in adapting to this new normal.
Before we discuss office changes, if you have questions about COVID19, such as if you should send your child to daycare or youth sports, we tackle those questions and more on our FAQs on COVID19 blog post.
How COVID19 Spreads
This virus spreads for the most part via respiratory droplets. We think it is important to define droplet because there may be some confusion regarding what it means to spread by droplet versus what we call airborne. Hopefully, this will ease some concern about coming into our offices.
Respiratory droplets are produced when we speak, cough or sneeze. When an individual is carrying COVID19, whether they be ill or not, their respiratory droplets will contain COVID19. When this individual speaks, coughs or sneezes their respiratory droplets have the potential to land in another’s mouth nose or eyes. Thus, spreading the virus to another. For example, if someone is carrying COVID19, but not yet ill with symptoms, they may unknowingly spread the virus through their respiratory droplets.
If this individual is wearing a mask, then their droplets will be more contained and less likely to infect others. If you are in close proximity to this individual and you yourself are wearing a mask then you are less likely to directly inhale their respiratory droplets. If you are more than 6 feet away and you are wearing a mask, your risk of acquiring COVID19 is quite low. Finally, droplets are heavy so they don’t remain in the air for very long. Once respiratory droplets containing COVID19 evaporate, the virus will die relatively quickly and not be infectious anymore.
Again, we feel it is important to provide these facts about COVID19 transmission with you because we have made the decision to reopen both offices to both well and sick care. And we hope this information helps ease some anxiety about coming into our office.
Re-Opening Both Offices Beginning June 1
We will be re-opening both offices, Wheat Ridge and Littleton, on June 1, 2020.
We will be taking every precaution to keep your children and you safe from potential exposures. By opening both offices, this will allow us to utilize staff and space more efficiently; enabling us to see more of our patients for well care.
Well care includes growth checks, developmental checks, & preventative services such as vaccinations, blood pressure screening, vision and hearing screening, mental health screening, and a complete physical exam. Well care includes school physicals and sports physicals. This will allow us to get back to our philosophy of continuity of care -– seeing your chosen pediatrician and advanced practice provider for both well and sick care.
Well Care and Sick Care Will Be Seen at Separate Times
We will be providing designated times for well care and sick care. Well care will be from 8:15 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. M-F and sick appointments starting at 3 pm M-F.
What to Expect at Well Visits M-F
Well care will be from 8:15 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. M-F. Pediatrics West will have a staggered start time for well visits to decrease the number of patient arrivals into the office, we will continue to prescreen each appointment by calling you the day prior to your scheduled well appointment to screen for symptoms of fever and or cough in any of those who live in the home, we will reschedule your well check if your child or if family is ill with cough and fever. We will continue to preregister patients over the phone and email you appropriate paperwork prior to your appointment to limit wait times in the waiting room.
Our office is limiting the number of families in the waiting room to 4 or less to keep appropriate social distancing, we may ask you to wait in your car until we are ready to get you into an exam room. We ask only one parent/guardian accompany the child to their appointment. We ask all of you to wear a mask when entering our office and all patients 2 and older to be wearing a mask.
Each exam room is extensively cleaned between each patient – we will wipe down chairs, exam tables, counter tops, scales, equipment, clipboards and pens. The waiting room is cleaned throughout the day and extensively cleaned at the end of the day. There are no bins of toys, books, magazines in our waiting room or exam rooms. We will continue to offer our “stickers and suckers” but we will hand them directly to your child.
Saturdays: For Baby Clinics Not Walk-In Clinic
We will continue to have our “Baby Saturday Clinic.” This is by appointment only and will be at the Wheat Ridge office. These Baby Saturdays will be reserved for newborn appointments, newborn weight checks, and 2 week old appointments.
We will not have any walk-in Saturday hours for sick appointments nor are we having extended evening hours for sick appointments.
What to Expect at Sick Visits M-F
We will see sick appointments 3 p.m.- 5 p.m. M-F. Every sick appointment will first be triaged over the phone with one or our amazing nurses in order to determine if your child’s symptoms are concerning for COVID19.
Certain symptoms will prompt us to inform you that you will be checked in over the phone upon arrival and you will be asked to remain in your car until escorted into an exam room. We will have designated exam rooms, entrances and exits for patients with symptoms concerning for COVID19 infection.
We ask all sick patients and their family member accompanying them to wear a mask. You will see all of our staff wearing masks for every appointment. Depending on your child’s symptoms, the provider may also be wearing a mask and a face shield, gloves & gown.
We will extensively clean each exam room between sick patients – wiping down high touch surfaces: chairs, exam tables, countertops and equipment.
Telemedicine & Drive-Up Parking Lot Update
We will continue to use telemedicine video visits when appropriate and we will consider our continued use of our drive-up parking lot clinic.
Mental Health Support during COVID19
Our partnership with Jefferson Center for Mental Health remains strong and our therapists will continue their services via telemedicine video appointments. We are in discussion with them regarding moving towards in person appointments by the end of June at the latest.