Introducing Telehealth at Pediatric Care Associates
We are very pleased to announce that Pediatric Care Associates has successfully implemented and piloted telehealth visits in the past week. All the PCA providers can now conduct virtual video visits using secure technology enabled through the MyChart patient portal. We are now ready to open this service more generally. In the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic and “social distancing”, this will be an invaluable tool for us to continue providing pediatric medical care and behavioral health services while reducing the need for you visit our office physically.
Telehealth points to remember:
1. PLEASE BEAR WITH US. This is a brand-new capability that involves major operational changes. We will be actively converting eligible existing appointments to telehealth visits, revamping provider schedules to do this work, and building the capacity to make sure you have the at-home tools to complete a telehealth encounter.
2. Telehealth visits require access to the MyChart portal at www.mychart.chppoc.org (parent/proxy for ages 0-12, patient for ages 13+). An access code will be sent to you, from which you can complete registration. Visits are best done on a smartphone or tablet but can also be done on video-capable computer. The “Zoom” app provides the secure video-conferencing interface.
3. Not all visits can be telehealth visits. Visits that we intend to do as telehealth encounters include medication rechecks, conferences, behavioral health, simple “sick” visits such as rashes or other rechecks that do not require physical examination. Visits that cannot be done via telehealth are those that require physical examination (for example ear or breathing rechecks), testing, or treatments.
4. Under COVID-19 circumstances, we intend to push as many encounters as possible from in-person to virtual encounters. This means that some important work such as vital signs, growth measurements, etc. may need to be deferred. Longer term we will need to re-balance to make sure that those important functions are restored.
If you would like to set up a telehealth visit, call the office at 413-732-5580 and we will try our best to accommodate you directly, but we may need to verify if a telehealth visit is appropriate and build a telehealth slot as our schedules are changing rapidly. Better yet, if you are already registered for MyChart, use it to request an appointment or send us a message.
If you are not yet on MyChart, call us to activate your account as soon as possible. MyChart is required for telehealth encounters and will be an essential tool for us to communicate with you effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dear Patients and Families,
As we continue to move through this uncertain time, we would like to continue to provide you with the best care while also considering the health and safety of you and your care team.
In doing so, we have modified our appointment schedules for providing well visits for patients. These visits—often known as physicals—will occur in the morning only. Should your child be scheduled for a wellness visit, and you or your child are not well, we ask that you please call us at (413) 732-5580 prior to coming to your appointment.
Patients who show signs of illness will be scheduled for visits occurring in the afternoon. If your child is experiencing flu-like symptoms, please call our office to speak with a nurse before coming in for your appointment. We kindly ask that you do not bring other family members or friends with you to the appointment. Please also have only one caretaker accompany a patient.
These changes come in the interest of your own safety. We are fully committed to exercising the strictest disease control procedures possible. We apologize for any inconveniences that may arise with these changes, and we trust that you will play your role in ensuring the highest measure of health and safety.
We have also launched Virtual Telehealth visits for patients who do not have to be physically present at the office for a visit. You are required to be signed up for our patient portal MyChart in order to access these virtual appointments.
Please take good care, and follow the most reliable and current recommendations regarding the development of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mass.gov and CDC websites.
Your continued safety and well-being are our top priority. Should you require any support or assistance in light of the current COVID-19 situation, we stand ready and dedicated to serve you as best as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Physicians & Staff at Pediatric Care Associates