Special Notice: Changes to Our Scheduling & Office Protocols
 
To the families of Hershey Pediatric Center:
 

First, we at the Hershey Pediatric Center hope you are all doing well and adapting as best you can to the trials and tribulations of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are here to help you and your children and teens get through the upcoming days and weeks during this stressful time.

Second, we want to bring you up to date on changes we have already made to make your visit to the Hershey Pediatric Center office as safe as possible:

  • We have divided the day in half, with only well children scheduled for visits in the morning (8:30am to 12:30pm), and only sick children in the afternoon (1:30pm to 5:00pm).

  • We are temporarily suspending our evening office hours to allow additional time over night for the office to air out. As always, we have the nurse triage line and provider on call for after hours.

  • We are seeing well children in one section of rooms, and sick children in another section of rooms. These sections are physically separated from each other.

  • We are putting children directly into exam rooms as soon as possible to avoid gatherings of families in the waiting room.

  • We are rotating exam rooms so no two families are in the same exam room in direct sequence. This means there is time after each patient is seen where the room is empty and can be thoroughly cleaned.

  • Our nurses are diligently cleaning surfaces to minimize the chance of germ transmission from contact surface.

  • We are thoroughly cleaning the waiting room/patient areas during the lunch hour and at the end of the day.

  • Our nursing staff and clinicians are wearing masks when in direct contact with patients, as well as taking other precautions to minimize the risk of germ transmission to our patients.

  • We ask kindly that only the child than has an appointment and one healthy parent/guardian accompany him/her to appointments if possible.

  • We will continue to screen sick/problem calls via the nursing staff.

  • We will continue to call families the day before well visits to remind them of the visit and make sure everyone coming to the appointment is well.

  • We are NOT capable of testing for COVID-19. We can direct you to testing if it is warranted.

 

Third, we want to lay out for you plans we have for the future, which affect the way we will be handling appointments and office visits.

  • We will continue the proactive steps just described for at least the duration of the pandemic social distancing period. In addition, Dr.Bartlett will be back in the office to see well children all 5 mornings during the week. By "well children", we mean children coming in for well child visits and any child coming in for a visit that does not involve illness, including (but not limited to) medication follow-up visits, other follow-up visits, problem visits not related to an illness, immunization catch-up visits, allergy shots, and the like.

  • We are introducing "telemedicine" visits, visits that take place exclusively over the telephone or through the patient portal. These are intended for children whose problems can be dealt with without the need for the child to come to the office:

  • Examples would including, but not limited to: medication follow-up visits, other follow-up visits, discussions about problems that need more than a brief period of time.

  • These will be handled as though they were visits to the office: scheduled for a specific time during our regular office hours, with the clinician of your choice.

  • The telemedicine visits will have the same copay and subsequent submission of billing to your insurance as though you came to the office.

  • Over the short term, these are likely to be phone audio only, but with your permission and capability, Facetime or Skype visits are a possibility.

  • In the future, we hope to be able to do video visits as well. We hope these visits will prove convenient and useful to our patients. This is the future of pediatric medicine and we want it to be the future of the Hershey Pediatric Center as well.

 

Fourth, since we are "open for business (almost) as usual" and are taking proactive steps for your health and safety, we believe this is an ideal time for your children and teens to come in for well child visits.

  • Scheduling appointments for your children and teens will never be more readily available than right now. Your preferred clinician's schedule is clearer than usual!

  • It's a particularly a good opportunity to schedule exams your middle school and high school children will need for school, sports, camps or driver's permits.

  • We currently have few if any scheduling conflicts for office well visits.

  • We encourage you to continue to keep well child visits that you now have scheduled. We will be contacting you to move afternoon well visits to morning appointment times, given our new scheduling pattern.

 

Finally, we want to thank all of your who have expressed your confidence in the care we at the Hershey Pediatric Center provide for your children as we work through these difficult times.

 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Glen Bartlett and the staff at Hershey Pediatric Center