Seattle Children's Provider News

Update on Hospital Volumes and Capacity at Seattle Children’s

Pediatric hospitalization in WA

  • The Washington Medical Control Center (WMCC) is the regional transfer center developed during COVID-19 to ensure statewide situational awareness and to balance patient distribution across the state.  They reported that in December they had the highest numbers of calls ever in the pandemic.  This is indicative of the immense strain on the hospital system.
  • The large pediatric surge we experienced in November improved in December as WMCC reported fewer requests for assistance for pediatric transfers.

 

Capacity at Seattle Children’s

  • The Emergency Department (ED) is seeing lower volumes than the record numbers of patients seen in November. We anticipate those numbers rising as people return from holiday travel and start back to school.  We continue to have high mental health boarding in the ED with high acuity.
  • Seattle Children’s maintained high inpatient census with increased staffing challenges through the holidays.  We also have had very high acuity and high technology needs in the ICUs that challenged our ability to accommodate all surgical cases and transfers.  We anticipate staffing challenges to improve over the next couple weeks.
  • We are monitoring viral curves closely for RSV/influenza/other viruses.  We have seen a downward trend overall but will know more in the next few weeks.  We have not yet seen Influenza B but expect it will show up at some point.
  • SARS-CoV 2 is rising regionally and nationally as the Omicron variant XXB.1.5 becomes the dominant strain.  We are monitoring this rise closely and are currently unsure of the impact on pediatric patients.
  • Capacity in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU) will be limited in 2023 due to two important initiatives that will provide improved care and capacity in the long-term: staff training to support a new model of care and replacement of the fire alarm system. We recognize any bed reductions in the PBMU will affect other departments, especially the ED. We are working to identify options for increased capacity for boarding ED mental health patients and are watching patient volumes closely to determine the safest options for care.

 

When sending patients to the ED

  • Our ED is open and ready to care for your patients; please do not hesitate to send patients when the ED is the appropriate setting for care.
  • When sending patients to the ED, please call our ED Communications Center at 206-987-8899 to help us plan for their arrival.
  • Let families know they may experience longer waits for non-critical issues and that we continue to triage to identify and see the most emergent patients first.

We continue to be deeply grateful to our colleagues in the community who are working relentlessly to care for pediatric patients in primary care and preserve capacity in hospitals and urgent cares for those patients who need it most.  Thank you!

For more information:

Investing in Seattle Children’s Future Growth With the Purchase of 43.9 Acres in Renton

Seattle Children’s has purchased 43.9 acres of land in Renton, Washington to invest in our future growth. Making this investment will help ensure Children’s can continue to provide hope, care and cures to every child in our region who needs us. Future clinical services located at this site will position Seattle Children’s to serve more patients who need care, closer to home.

We plan to lease the existing office buildings to other organizations until we are ready to develop.

Planning and permitting for the future of this site will take several years and any capital investment must be balanced and timed with other priorities across the organization. It is not yet known what services could be located in Renton, nor is there a specific schedule in place for development at this time.

Urgent Care is Expanding Access and Will Soon Offer Virtual Visits

In order to expand access to pediatric primary care in Washington state, Seattle Children’s will begin offering virtual visits with our urgent care providers beginning in mid-January. In addition, our Urgent Care (UC) clinic in Seattle at the hospital has moved to a larger space, added providers and expanded its weekday hours to open at 11 a.m. (versus 4 p.m.) effective Monday, January 9.

 

Virtual visits  

  • Will begin mid-January
  • Patients must be in Washington state at the time of their virtual visit.
  • Virtual UC hours: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • To schedule, families should use the online Urgent Care scheduling portal and choose “video visit” as their preferred location.
  • Virtual visits will be for children with these symptoms:
    • Allergies
    • Bite (animal, human, insect)
    • Cold and flu symptoms
    • Constipation
    • Cough/congestion
    • Croup
    • Diarrhea
    • Eye infection
    • Fever age 2+ years
    • Head injury (no loss of consciousness)
    • Injury advice
    • Lice
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Sinus infection
    • Skin rash
    • Sore throat
    • Urinary tract infection

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Under One Roof: Autism Center and Many Outpatient Mental and Behavioral Health Services Are Now Co-Located in Our New Space Across From Magnuson Park

 

A family arrives for their first appointment at Seattle Children’s Magnuson

Seattle Children’s is pleased to share that on December 12, 2022, Seattle Children’s Magnuson opened as the new showcase home for Seattle Children’s Autism Center and outpatient behavioral health services.

The new 45,000-square-foot clinic was entirely funded by donations as a result of the vision of Seattle Children’s Generation REACH initiative to transform mental health care for all youth and families.

“Seattle Children’s is working to create a future where every young person has access to evidence-based mental and behavioral health services when and where they need them,” said Dr. Carol Rockhill, medical director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinics, Seattle Children’s. “Seattle Children’s Magnuson is a huge step in that direction, providing more treatment rooms and clinical spaces, better technology, gathering spaces for families and children with mental health care needs, autism and more.” Read full post »

Heart Center “Goes All Out” in Its New, Larger Space

Seattle Children’s Heart Center has a new, state-of-the-art home in Forest B, the 310,000-square-foot addition to Seattle Children’s hospital campus specifically designed for transformative, patient-centered care.

Dr. Brian Morray, director of Seattle Children’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, confers with a cardiac patient in one of Forest B’s new spaces.

The Heart Center occupies nearly 30,000 square feet on the sixth floor of the new building. The dedicated space doubles the number of operating rooms (ORs) devoted to cardiac patients and co-locates the cardiac induction rooms, ORs, catheterization labs, postanesthesia care unit (PACU) recovery rooms and cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) into what is known as the Heart Center Suites. Although the cardiac ICU is technically located in Forest A, it is separated from the ORs by a three-foot walkway.

This co-location of services greatly reduces patient transport time and facilitates those times when a patient needs to go quickly from the catheterization laboratory to surgery or from surgery to a catheterization lab. Read full post »

Short Wait Times for Mental Health Referral Service

Wait times are currently low for families requesting assistance from the Washington Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens. Families are able to get an intake appointment within a few days, which is about the quickest since the program’s inception in 2019.

After speaking with the intake specialist, families will receive a list within a few weeks of mental health therapists in their local area who are taking new patients and accept their insurance. Even though the entire process may take up to a month, we encourage families to get started by contacting the referral service to get in the queue.

The number to call for an intake appointment is 833-303-5437 (interpreter line: 866-583-1527). Teens who are 13 and older can call the referral service for themselves. An online option is also available.

The service is for children and teens through age 17 who live in Washington state.

Available at Seattle Children’s: Bivalent COVID-19 Booster for Kids Ages 6 Months to 5 Years

The bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children ages 6 months through 5 years.  We offer the bivalent versions of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to this age group at our main hospital campus vaccine clinic. Pfizer only is available at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) Othello.

  • Children ages 6 months through 5 years who previously completed a Moderna primary series are eligible to receive a Moderna bivalent booster 2 months after their final primary series dose.
  • Children ages 6 months through 4 years who are currently completing a Pfizer primary series will receive a Pfizer bivalent vaccine as their third primary dose.

For more information: Eligibility criteria and other details about COVID-19 vaccines for children are found at the COVID-19 vaccine information page on our website.

CMEs, Grand Rounds, Classes and Other Events

Pediatric Nursing Update Conference, January 27, 2023, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. via Webex. Practical tips, tools, resources and information to help better serve children with special healthcare needs and their families. Register online or view the brochure.

 

Category 1 CME series

  • Adolescent Medicine Updates, January 21, 2023, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via Zoom. This highly practical course will provide current information on the most up-to-date best practices for primary care of adolescents. Brochure. Register Now.
  • Practical Pediatrics, February 4, 2023, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Seattle Children’s hospital campus, Wright Auditorium. Course covers diagnostic and management updates to address gaps in practice encountered in primary care of children. In-person. Brochure. Register Now.
  • Urgent Pediatric Problems, March 4, 2023, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sand Point Learning Center near Seattle Children’s. Brochure.

 

Provider Grand Rounds

Year-round on Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m. Learn more. Read full post »

Special Update: Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic

December 28, 2022:

Seattle Children’s has temporarily closed the second floor of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) Othello to repair water damage from a fire that occurred on December 19th on the floor above the clinic. OBCC Othello is located inside the Orenda at Othello Square building.

  • OBCC’s first floor was not impacted which means Dental and Rehab appointments at OBCC Othello will continue as normal.
  • Medical appointments which normally would take place on the second floor are being rescheduled as telehealth visits or in some cases as in-person appointments at either the main hospital campus or South Clinic in Federal Way.
  • We are contacting affected families to reschedule their appointments.
  • Families with questions may call OBCC at 206-987-7210.

We apologize for this unforeseen event and are doing everything we can to get the clinic’s second floor repaired and re-opened as soon as possible. For more information, please contact physician.relations@seattlechildrens.org.

Learn more about OBCC.

Impacts of RSV on Hospital Care for Pediatric Patients

Washington state is currently experiencing a large RSV wave that is impacting a broad age range of children, with a disproportionate impact on children under the age of 2. Influenza activity in Washington State is now very high and other viruses are circulating also. The strain on hospital capacity is creating a critical situation for pediatric care in our state.

The situation at Seattle Children’s

  • Seattle Children’s has been experiencing record-setting census for inpatients, intensive care units (ICUs) and the Emergency Department (ED). Our capacity situation is critical.
  • Our ED is operating at 100% capacity almost around the clock, and up to 300% capacity in the evenings. We expect ED volumes to increase over the next several months.
  • We are rescheduling nonurgent admissions; surgical cases are being reviewed for need to admit, level of care and/or ability to safely remain in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). Outpatient procedures and other-day surgery cases are not being screened at this time because they don’t impact inpatient capacity.

Read full post »