COVID-19 is here. Our national government has declared a national emergency and our state government has declared a public health emergency. The doctors and staff at Gwinnett Pediatrics are deeply concerned for the health of your children and your family. Our primary goal is to keep you well, and our practice is taking measures to address health and safety.
Effective March 18, 2020, and until further notice, we will only be seeing children 18 months of age and younger for checkups. All of these visits will be scheduled in the morning in order to keep sick and well children separate. We are cancelling all previously scheduled checkups for children and adolescents over 18 months. Our staff is keeping careful track of cancelled appointments and will contact you in the future to reschedule your child’s checkup. In order to control the volume of calls to our office, we ask that you not call our office regarding potential future appointment times.
Please note: If you are scheduled for a checkup and are not sure if your child is sick, please call the office BEFORE coming in. If your child presents with an illness at a checkup, thereby exposing well patients and contaminating our sterile environment, you will be asked to leave the office and may be dismissed from the practice.
We do not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for patients or staff to address the volume of sick patients. We do not have tests for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our office. Contrary to some reports, we do not have access to testing for our patients.
There will obviously be sick children who will need to be seen. If your child is sick, you will need to call the office. We have indefinitely suspended all online appointments.
Our schedulers will route calls to our advice nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors to triage your child over the phone. They will determine whether your child should be evaluated by a telemedicine visit, monitored at home, seen in our office, or referred to the emergency room. Please, do not send portal messages about urgent medical issues! You must speak to someone in our office.
NO WALK-IN PATIENTS WILL BE SEEN.
If you come to our office without an appointment, you will have to go back to your car and call our office to speak to a scheduler. This applies to siblings of scheduled patients.
Telemedicine has been an effective way to manage patients during this pandemic. In order for our staff to schedule your child a telemedicine appointment, each child must have their own email address. When your appointment is scheduled, you will receive an email from our office with a link to the visit. Only one child can be seen in each telemedicine appointment. If, during the visit, the doctor determines that your child needs to be seen in the office, an office visit will be scheduled. There will be only one charge for the two visits.
Your Office Visit
To ensure the safety of our patients and staff, we are trying to limit the number of people in our office as well as the amount of time that patients remain in the office. To that end, we need your help.
Please try to complete as much paperwork as possible online prior to the visit.
Except for the newborn visit, please try to bring just one parent and one child to the appointment. If you must bring additional children, babies and toddlers should remain in a stroller or infant carrier in order to avoid contact with office surfaces such as floors, walls and countertops.
Please be sure that the caretaker at the visit is able to provide all details of the child’s history. Texting, FaceTime and phone calls during the visit result in unfortunate delays and prolong the wait for other patients.
If you wish to discuss chronic medical issues during your scheduled sick appointment, we will likely have to schedule a separate telemedicine visit for a later time for that purpose.
With the exception of infant formula, NO FOOD OR DRINK will be allowed in our offices.
Please do not go into the cabinets or drawers in the exam rooms. If you should need a plastic bag, diaper or wipes, our staff will be happy to help you. We are diligently cleaning our exam rooms repeatedly during the day. PLEASE help us keep those little hands away from the computer, keyboard and all medical equipment!
To avoid the spread of germs, we have removed all books and magazines from our offices and have provided disposable pencils for sign-in at the front desk.
The sinks in the hallways are for staff use only. Hand sanitizer is available in each exam room.
Finally, please be patient. We are receiving a record-breaking number of calls to our office. We ask that you go to the CDC website cdc.gov or the Georgia Department of Public Health website gph.ga.gov for the most reliable general information about COVID-19. Questions about routine pediatric issues such as feeding, sleep problems, constipation, behavior problems, simple rashes etc. will now be largely managed by telemedicine visits rather than by our beloved advice nurses. This will help free up the advice nurses to triage sick patients. After hours, please reserve your calls for urgent medical concerns. Our doctors will not be calling in prescriptions when the office is closed.
The COVID-19 pandemic changes daily. We will do our best to keep you updated. Stay safe, everyone, and know that Gwinnett Pediatrics is here for you and your children!