In those first few weeks of shutdown, the last place most parents wanted to be with their kids was a doctor’s office. But pediatric clinics around the metro area are taking COVID-19 safety and prevention seriously, and say parents should bring in kids to well-child checks and other routine appointments. Here’s a look at just a few of the COVID-19 protocols five local practices are following to keep their young patients safe.
1. Among many other measures, Pediatric Associates of the Northwest is scheduling COVID-19 asymptomatic visits and sick/symptomatic visits at different times per day and in different locations within the clinic, with nearly half an hour in between to avoid exposure to well children. The practice also has strict return-to-work policies for staff and gifted paid time off to promote a culture of staying home when sick.
2. In addition to other measures, OHSU has implemented physical distancing processes, including limiting the number of patients scheduled for visits at one time and identifying designated waiting areas.
3. Some of Sellwood Medical Clinic’s new procedures include separate doors for entry and exit, and scheduling newborn visits in the morning as much as possible.
4. At Metropolitan Pediatrics, well-visit patients have significant pre-screening before families arrive to make sure clinic visitors are healthy. They also have a separate location for kids with cold and flu-like symptoms where patients are roomed immediately, and providers and medical assistants wear extra protective gear.
5. Among other measures at Portland’s Shriners Hospitals for Children, anyone entering the hospital (or the pediatric sports injury and fracture clinic) is screened upon arrival and must wear a mask. It’s also started a new telehealth program that even new patients can utilize.