All Articles in the Category ‘Announcements’

COVID-19 Update: March 7, 2020

We know this is a rapidly changing situation and we will continue to provide updated information about how Seattle Children’s is preparing and managing COVID-19, and how we can support primary care providers.

Are there any changes to Seattle Children’s outpatient radiology services?

We are continuing to offer a full range of imaging services including walk-in diagnostic outpatient x-ray in Bellevue, Federal Way, Everett, and Seattle. All families will be asked a series of screening questions before they enter the building. Families who present with respiratory symptoms or influenza-like illness will be put in strict isolation. We may consider less investigative studies when applicable.

When should PCPs send patients to Seattle Children’s Emergency Department (or not)?

Please only send your patients to Seattle Children’s Emergency Department if they are sufficiently ill to need emergent treatment (i.e. they meet criteria for being admitted). Please call our ED Communications Center first at 206-987-8899.

Patients with non-emergent respiratory symptoms and concern for COVID-19 should call Public Health – Seattle & King County and quarantine at home.

Who is being tested for COVID-19?

Current capacity for testing is limited. Ambulatory or admitted patients qualify for testing if they meet the current CDC definition of PUI, which currently (as of 3/4/20) includes relevant travel exposure, contact with a known COVID case, and those admitted with fever and lower respiratory tract infection. Results typically take between 24 to 48 hours.

Is Seattle Children’s able to test for COVID-19?

The viral respiratory panel used at Seattle Children’s does not detect COVID-19. We are sending our COVID-19 panels to the University of Washington for testing and receiving results back in 24-48 hours.  Current capacity is limited.

COVID-19 testing is available only for our inpatients with respiratory symptoms and patients who meet the CDC testing criteria. 

For more information, read our complete FAQ for providers.

Additional Resources

If your patient has questions or is concerned about COVID-19, please refer to these resources from Washington State Department of Health:

For additional information to support families, see:

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COVID-19: News from Seattle Children’s – March 4, 2020

PCPs Play a Critical Role in Pandemic Response

Seattle Children’s anticipates a massive response will be required by healthcare providers on all fronts to respond to COVID-19. Hospitals, ERs and urgent cares will be strained to capacity to treat the sickest patients; their ability to keep up and save lives will depend in large part on primary care providers having capacity and resources to treat less acute patients throughout our communities.

What you can do:

  • Prepare your clinics immediately to see low acuity respiratory patients.
    • Divide your flow so that patients with and without respiratory symptoms are seen in separate spaces.
    • Consider a front door v. back door check in process.
    • Consider seeing symptomatic kids in their cars and/or asking them to remain in cars until a room is ready for them.
    • Be creative in this crisis situation to minimize in-person patient visits for suspected COVID; use phones, video apps, etc. to see patients and help limit the spread of the virus.
    • Do not automatically redirect patients with respiratory symptoms to urgent care or emergency departments. Manage as much patient care as possible without sending patients to urgent care or the ED.
  • If you experience an increased demand for respiratory visits, consider canceling planned non-urgent patient visits, such as well-child care. Limit well-child appointments to immunizations only, to free up appointments for respiratory patients.
  • Isolate non-emergent respiratory patients with quarantine at home.
  • Consider coordinating with other clinics to become a larger outpatient system for triaging and managing patients.
  • Focus now on procuring the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed by your staff, including gloves, masks, eye shields or goggles (not eyeglasses), and gowns.
  • Stay up-to-date on the CDCs guidance on evaluating and reporting Persons Under Investigation (PUI).

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New Referral Guidelines and PCP Resources from Neurosciences Center

New referral guidelines are now available from Seattle Children’s Neurosciences Center, along with new resources to help manage patients with tic and headache in primary care.

The current wait time for new patients with non-urgent headache or tic is about 3 months. As Seattle Children’s continues its effort to improve access to specialty care for children who most need it, the headache and tic resources from Neurosciences are intended to help patients with these conditions find appropriate care with their primary physician and avoid the longer waits to see a specialist.

Please visit the Neurosciences “Refer a Patient” webpage.     Read full post »

ORs Re-Opened

As announced last week in a special Provider News bulletin, Seattle Children’s has re-opened the operating rooms (ORs) on the hospital campus that were previously closed for installation of a new air handling system and in-room HEPA filtration systems in each OR. We are taking a thoughtful approach to rescheduling surgeries that were postponed due to the closure, including reviewing surgeries on a daily basis to assess urgency and priority.

For surgery referrals, please follow our normal referral process. Read full post »

New Pharmacy Hours at Seattle Children’s: 24/7

Ocean Pharmacy Now Open 24 Hours

On Feb. 24, the hours of our Ocean Pharmacy expanded to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The goal of this expansion is to enhance the continuity of care patients receive at Seattle Children’s. Patient families can now avoid the hassle of finding a late-night pharmacy after being discharged from the Emergency Department. The expanded hours will also help improve daytime turnaround times for inpatient and surgery center discharges.

Ocean Pharmacy is not open to the general public. Read full post »

Cancellation of Classes and Events at Seattle Children’s

To help contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community, Seattle Children’s is canceling large group gatherings taking place at our facilities, including those with attendees from the community (e.g. CMEs, classes, conferences, PALS courses, etc.). Some Grand Rounds may be moved to WebEx rather than cancelled. Please check with event organizers if you have questions or need additional information. If you are registered for an event and it is moved to WebEx only, event organizers will notify you. Read full post »

Coronavirus Update

Seattle Children’s is preparing for the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). A Provider News special bulletin on Jan. 24 provided information about the plans we have in place for detection and prevention of the virus. To date, no Seattle Children’s patients have tested positive for 2019-nCoV.

Primary care providers (PCPs) who are caring for a patient with suspected 2019-nCoV should first contact Public Health-Seattle & King County. If, after discussing with Public Health, the decision is made to send the patient to Seattle Children’s, the PCP should first notify our Emergency Department (ED) Communications Center at 206-987-8899.

Visit Public Health-Seattle & King County’s website for a complete list of resources for families and healthcare professionals.

Read Seattle Children’s Jan. 24 bulletin on the coronavirus.

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WONDER Study Recruiting Participants Ages Birth to 6 Months

Seattle Children’s is recruiting infants for a new study at Seattle Children’s. The WONDER research study uses technology and behavioral assessments to monitor and map social brain development. The study consists of five in-person study visits during the first three years of life at our research lab in Seattle. During visits, researchers record brain activity and eye movements while showing the child pictures and videos. They engage the child in play-based activities to assess different aspects of development, such as language and motor skills.

We are recruiting English-speaking families with infants under the age of 6 months to be part of one of three groups:

  1. Infants with an older sibling (whole or half) with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
  2. Infants born with low birth weight – 3lbs., 15 oz. or less (1800 g).
  3. Infants born weighing more than 5 lbs., 5oz. (2500 g) with no known serious medical conditions and no first- or second-degree relatives with autism.

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New Endocrinology Algorithms

Seattle Children’s Endocrinology program has posted new algorithms for goiter, hypothyroid, obesity, short stature and vitamin D deficiency on its Refer a Patient page webpage, along with related resources for these conditions. The tools help PCPs know how and when to manage their patients’ endocrinology care in the primary care setting.

Seattle Children’s recently announced updated referral requirements for several specialties, including Endocrinology and Diabetes, Genetics and Gastroenterology, as well as a major change in the Diabetes intake and patient education protocol. Otherwise, healthy diabetes patients ages five and up will now be referred to a two-day outpatient education program rather than the previously prescribed two- to three-day inpatient hospital stay, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. Details are available on our Endocrinology and Diabetes Refer a Patient page under “Patients newly diagnosed with diabetes.” Read full post »

New Clinical Pathway for Musculoskeletal Infections

Seattle Children’s has developed a new Musculoskeletal Infections Pathway. The purpose of the pathway is to develop and standardize an evidence-based approach for the evaluation and care of patients with musculoskeletal infections, including septic arthritis and osteomyelitis.

Pathway Recommendations:

  1. Order CBC with differential, CRP and ESR for all patients undergoing diagnostic evaluation for septic arthritis and/or osteomyelitis.
  2. Order two blood cultures (aerobic + anaerobic) for all patients undergoing diagnostic evaluation for septic arthritis and/or osteomyelitis with moderate/high likelihood of disease. Consider ordering two blood cultures (aerobic + anaerobic) for all patients undergoing diagnostic evaluation for osteomyelitis with low likelihood of disease. Blood cultures (aerobic + anaerobic) should be drawn prior to initiating antibiotics for patients with confirmed musculoskeletal infections.
  3. Order X-ray of the suspected involved bone(s)/joint(s) for all patients undergoing diagnostic evaluation for septic arthritis and/or osteomyelitis.
  4. Order ultrasound of the suspected involved joint(s) for all patients undergoing diagnostic evaluation for septic arthritis, particularly ultrasound of the hip in any patient at risk for septic arthritis of the hip joint.
  5. Empiric first-dose antibiotics for septic arthritis and/or osteomyelitis should include:
    a) Nontoxic; low risk for MRSA: cefazolin 50 mg/kg IV × 1 (max dose: 2000 mg)
    b) Nontoxic; cefazolin allergy or MRSA risk factors present: clindamycin 13.3 mg/kg IV × 1 (max dose: 600 mg)
    c) Systemically/critically ill and MRSA not yet ruled out by culture: vancomycin 15 mg/kg IV × 1 (max dose: 2000 mg)

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