Clinical Pediatric Webinar This Week

Join us Thursday, March 26 for “COVID-19: The Seattle Children’s Experience” via Webex at 8 a.m. PST. More information is available here.

 

Additional COVID-19 Clinic Scheduling Guidelines

The following triage guidelines are being used by clinics to ensure a consistent approach to scheduling ambulatory patients during COVID-19. These will be used for patients who are currently scheduled, as well as new scheduling requests. The guidelines are intended to continue to provide needed care to patients, preserve PPE, and promote social distancing for our staff, providers, and community.

Due to the uncertain duration of this pandemic situation, these guidelines will be used for current and new appointment requests until May 1. This will avoid the need to reschedule patients, decrease a scheduling backlog and access constraints, and allow for appropriate prioritization once standard operations resume.

We will provide an update in early- to mid-April letting you know whether or not this will continue through June 1. Thank you for your patience and efforts to continue providing patient care in alternative ways when possible.

Tier 1: Patients who need to be seen in person by the provider within the next 6 weeks (until May 1).

  • Clinical situation that could be compromised by delay in care and requires physical examination to support clinical decision-making

Tier 2: Patients who can be seen with a telephone or telehealth visit — can be scheduled at any time.

  • Follow up care where the physical exam is not essential to decision making
  • Key physical exam or imaging findings may be obtained by other means (e.g., PACS, photos, etc.)
  • Referrals/consults that can be assessed with a telephone or telehealth visit

Tier 3: Patients who can be rescheduled or placed in the queue for scheduling when we resume normal business operations — can be placed in a queue to schedule an in-person visit at a later date.

  • Patient condition does not suggest clinical urgency
  • Family prefers an in-person visit
  • Clinic does not have capacity to provide a telehealth or telemedicine visit
  • Referral/consult cannot be assessed with a telephone or telehealth visit

Potential Changes to Seattle Children’s Clinic Hours

In anticipation of a shelter-in-place order, Seattle Children’s is assessing the operating hours of clinics and may close or reduce hours in some locations. Patients with appointments that must occur in person may be asked to travel to another location. At this time, we plan to keep all Urgent Care locations open. We may modify Urgent Care hours or staffing due to low volumes.

 

Provider Ambulatory Telemedicine and Telephone Visits

Seattle Children’s is swiftly changing our care model to meet the clinical needs of patients during the COVID-19 outbreak by expanding our telehealth platform and offering telephone visits instead of in-person appointments when medically possible. We are working to shift in-person clinic visits to telemedicine and telephone visits when possible.

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a statement that allows enforcement discretion of normal HIPAA rules.

OCR will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This means that non-public-facing applications are approved during this period of time. However, if these applications are linked to your personal device, patients will see your personal information (e.g., cell phone number).

 

New Information Line for Families

Current patients of Seattle Children’s, their family member or a parent of a child under the age of 19 in our community can now call us toll free at 1-833-987-2100 to learn how Seattle Children’s is responding to this pandemic. Families can also fill out our contact form with their questions and member of our staff will call you to answer your questions. The line is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week.

This information line does not provide:

  • Medical advice or symptom triage related to COVID-19 or other medical conditions. Families should talk with their primary care provider about care recommendations.
  • Test results or other information about COVID-19 testing. Families who were tested at a Seattle Children’s location should wait to be called with results.
  • Scheduling or cancelling appointments. Over the coming days and weeks, our clinics will call families to either reschedule or convert appointments to telemedicine or telephone visits when possible. Families should call their clinic directly for questions about upcoming appointments.

 

Additional Resources for Providers

 

Updated FAQs – Read our Complete FAQs Here

Q: Does Seattle Children’s offer drive-through testing for staff with symptoms of COVID-19?

A: On March 13, Seattle Children’s began offering testing for workforce members who have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing). At this time testing is available to Seattle Children’s workforce who have a badge. This includes active community medical staff members with a Seattle Children’s badge.

Q: Will Seattle Children’s offer drive-through testing for patients with symptoms of COVID-19?

A: Seattle Children’s is exploring drive-through testing for patients that meet criteria. Testing will be ordered by Seattle Children’s providers and will align with current recommendations to ensure we can maintain adequate testing supplies.

Q: Are there any changes to Seattle Children’s Urgent Care?

A: Our Urgent Cares continue to have capacity. Only one caregiver is allowed to accompany a patient to their appointment. 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.