No matter why you are coming to the doctor, whether it is for a well check that was scheduled months ago, or for an unexpected sick visit your child needs in an hour, you want the same thing that we want---to get in, get your child the care he or she needs, and to get out with the least possible trauma and in a timely fashion. Here are tips to help everything to go as smoothly as possible with the fewest possible surprises.
1. The New Patient - if you are a new patient, you will have to fill out some forms. We know it's a pain, but it has to be done! You can save yourself some time by printing them out from the "Forms" section of our website, filling them out at home, and then bringing them in with you, along with your insurance card. I can't even tell you how much faster this will get you into an exam room, and back home where you want to be.
2. The Established Patient - we have your information, so no paperwork! But we will ask you to verify that nothing has changed. We kindly ask you to REALLY think about that question. I cannot tell you how many times we have tried to call people just a day or two after their appointment to tell them about lab results, or to check on the condition of their child only to find out that every single number we have is a non-working number, they no longer work for that employer and their address is also not correct. Right after they told us that nothing has changed. If anything has changed in the past 2 years, please make sure we have the right information. The health of your child could depend on it. I can't tell you that they are positive for strep throat on their throat culture if I can't find you. Also, please make sure we have your correct insurance. It will save you the hassle of receiving bills for the full amount of the visit after your inactive insurance company has rejected our claim.
3. The Check Up - if your child is scheduled for a check up, you can save even more time by filling out the developmental forms in advance! These are absolutely required at the 9 month, 18 month and 24 month check ups, but we would appreciate it if you would fill them out at every check up until age 6 years. The forms ask detailed developmental questions that can help us find even very minor developmental issues that could improve with early treatment. Just go to www.chadis.com, and fill them out. The invitation code is our phone number: 4105829434, and then they will be emailed directly to us before your visit. If you did fill them out, let the doctor know at the beginning of the visit, so we can pull them up (and before we start asking you the whole list of developmental questions, making you go through it all over again!).
4. The Unexpected Sick Visit - I understand that it is tempting to ask the office to have the doctor just see your other child since she happens to be here with you and she just started sniffling in the car. You already have an appointment for one child, so what's the big deal about adding on one more? The issue is that the doctor has a very set schedule which blocks the amount of time that is needed for every appointment. When we squeeze another child in where no appointment time exists, it means that the doctor will be 10 minutes late for every appointment after you. And even if it's "just a cold" and you think "it will only take the doctor a minute", the truth is that we are required to document everything. Vital signs need to be taken, a full history and exam done and a full note typed up to document everything. It takes more than a minute, I assure you. If your other child truly needs to be seen, please try to notify us ahead of time instead of when you walk into the office. We may need to change your appointment time to a time where we can accomodate the extra appointment.
5. The Walk In - we do not accept walk in patients. This is for the same reason as stated above. It will delay every appointment after you which is not fair to the patients with scheduled appointments. Please call before you come. If your child needs an urgent sick appointment, we will never turn you away and we will give you an appointment today, but we will give you a time to come in so you and your child can wait in the comfort of your own home instead of in the waiting room.
6. The Waiting Room - It's time, you are called back to the exam room! Hopefully you have not been waiting long, but now 2 of your 3 children do not want to come. You are tempted to leave them in the waiting room where they are quietly playing with toys. We understand, it is easier to leave them be than to take them with you, but we kindly ask that if they are under the age of 10 years, to please take them with you. Our staff cannot keep an eye on them for you while answering phones and taking copays, and our door opens right out onto a small porch and then the parking lot. The door also can be opened with a little push from small hands, no turning of the knob necessary. Even when they do not try to leave the office, we have had children running up and down the halls, running into open exam rooms and playing with expensive equipment unsupervised. And you might not realize it, because you are in an exam room with your little one and the door is closed. We ask that you please keep an eye on all of your children.
7. The Copay/Bill - you are done and your little one got shots and you just want to get them back home. But please stop at the front desk before you go. You are required to pay all copays at the time of the visit and if you have an existing bill, that will be due as well. We usually advise that you make your next well check appointment before leaving as well, so that you can get the best possible choice of times and dates. If you would rather, we would be happy to take care of all these issues at the check-in, so you won't be delayed on your way out.
We thank you so very much for choosing East West Pediatrics. We hope this helps make your visit a smoother one!