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Flu season can be a challenging time for pediatric practices as they navigate increased patient visits, concerns from parents, and the potential for outbreaks. To ensure your practice is ready to handle the flu season effectively, it's crucial to take proactive steps and follow the recommended guidelines. In this blog, we'll provide essential tips and resources to help you prepare your pediatric practice for flu season. 1. Stay Informed and Educate Your Staff Keeping up-to-date with the latest information on the flu and flu vaccines is fundamental. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers credible resources and guidance on flu...

One common thread that comes up often in conversations among pediatric providers and their staff is that the last several years have been exhausting. Pediatricians in cities, suburbs, and rural areas alike are burned out and they’re facing what seems like an insurmountable combination of increased expectations and decreased practice resources....

Since early 2020, many pediatric practices have been forced to juggle increased patient demand against new safety precautions and a reduction in the number of people they have on staff. The COVID pandemic has been a significant stressor on the pediatric community, with one survey finding that 60% of pediatricians were experiencing at least one dimension of burnout....

Learning to communicate with patients online has been a central hallmark of the COVID-19 pandemic for pediatric practices. However, evaluating whether your practice is succeeding in this area can be a challenge. The scope of communication in healthcare varies, and there’s no one standard metric that providers can use to measure their progress....

Many young children and teens struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, organizations like Duck Cup Memorial Fund are stepping into the fray to bring more awareness to this issue. Sara Jutz, the Executive Director of Duck Cup Memorial Fund, recently spoke on the PediaTricks podcast to share more information about how their organization is working to meet this moment, and make mental health and suicide prevention a much easier subject to speak about openly. ...

Social media can be polarizing, but there are many benefits that can be gained from using it as a patient engagement tool in your practice. Having open lines of communication with patients and their families is an important step for practice success, and social media can play a significant role in making this happen....

It’s no surprise that pediatric mental health issues have skyrocketed to unrivaled levels as children have been forced to navigate the challenges that have come with the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Desperate for ways to address this growing concern, healthcare professionals across the United States are coming together to share ideas about programs, policies, and best practices that will positively impact the mental health of youth and adolescents in the US....

Each May, we celebrate National Children’s Mental Health Week to underscore the importance of nurturing positive mental health among our nation’s youth. This year, from May 1st-7th, the awareness week will emphasize the vital importance of building strong emotional health for children’s long-term development and overall wellness....

Every child gets scared or anxious sometimes. It’s normal for kids to be afraid of the dark, shy around new people, or become nervous before a big test. It becomes an issue when fear and anxiety cause distress or interfere with everyday activities....

While we’ve started to see more people going back to the doctor’s office, we need to ensure that patients who have health needs requiring follow-up, and patients who are due or behind on their Well Visits, are receiving the care they need is important. This is also vital to having a healthier population and increasing your revenue. And, that’s where something like “DAR” comes in.  Using a Tool for Patient Recall DAR stands for Demographic Analysis and Recall. It's a powerful tool that can analyze your demographic data. It then recalls specific patient and practice information based on the findings.   Let’s say that...

While pediatric practices may have some extra down time, it's the perfect time to pause and remember the financial health of your practice starts with having an appropriate fee schedule. While contractually the payers determine how much they are going to pay you for each service you provide, it starts with how much you charge.  Scheduled Process and Procedure At the very least, every January your practice should have a scheduled process and procedure for updating your fee schedule so you can be sure you are not leaving money on the table (and in the insurance company’s pocket.) The AAP...

Everybody needs education, and that may be doubly true when it comes to your EHR. To put it simply: education is power. Power to do your job more effectively. Power to contribute and make decisions. Power to be able to use the software competently — and by doing so, to provide better patient care.  In other words: no matter how advanced your EHR is, if you’re not engaging in ongoing education, you’re limiting the effectiveness of your system, your people, and your practice as a whole. Why is training necessary? Of course when you first adopt a system, you need training in how...

Operating a pediatric practice that runs on time has always been important. During the current global pandemic, however, staying on schedule is even more essential because it affects efficiency and safety. Many practices have eliminated waiting rooms, opted for curbside check-in, and converted some appointments to telehealth. In addition, a recent study found the majority of practices in the U.S. reported patient volume had been cut in half at some point during the early part of the pandemic. During this public health emergency, it’s critical that your office optimizes the visits that are occurring, both in person and via telemedicine. But how...

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if parents could self-schedule appointments?” If you’re part of a busy practice, you know how much time a simple feature like this could save. How about the frantic parent who calls the office one minute after opening because they lost the daycare form you gave them last week and little Harriet’s first day is tomorrow? Wouldn’t it be great if little Harriet’s mom could simply print the form herself rather than coming into the office and picking up a copy? With older EHRs, that might have been mere wishful thinking, but no...

As the leader of a pediatric practice, you know that being successful involves more than providing excellent medical care. Of course, patient care is your top priority, but managing day-to-day operations takes knowledge, organization, and the right people. How do you make the best use of your team's skills and talents? How can you make sure everyone in your pediatric office is being productive and efficient without crushing morale? These are important points to consider, especially if you want to have a profitable practice. Here are some suggestions for boosting staff productivity. Get to Know Your Team and Show Them You Care Perhaps your...

When we work hard at preventing diseases through vaccines, everyone wins: Families, communities, and our practices. The pandemic has brought challenges, meaning families are frightened to attend well visits and immunizations. Parents might think it’s acceptable to delay vaccines. However, pediatricians know that’s not reasonable and comes with the risk of a second public health emergency from a vaccine-preventable disease. To succeed at keeping patients current with vaccines, you need a clinical decision support (CDS) tool. Here are five ways a CDS tool will help your practice. 1. Patient Population Knowledge Giving good care to your patients starts with understanding who they are....

Having a fully functional patient portal is necessary for today’s healthcare environment. Parents of young children expect to have the world at their fingertips. This includes being able to access medical records on their phones and tablets. But what are the advantages of a patient portal for pediatric practices? Here are 4 benefits we are already seeing after implementing our new portal. Improved Communications and Documentation A patient portal strengthens relationships between families and providers. Patients’ parents can communicate with your practice when it’s convenient for them, and you can respond when it’s conducive to your schedule. Parents can also update their children’s...

Wellness means different things to different people, but many would agree that it plays a big role in your overall health. Finding ways to boost wellness, especially at the office, can improve work performance as well. According to the CDC, healthier employees translates to a more productive office. Additionally, offices that encourage wellness among employees not only reduces absenteeism, but may even help employees and their families improve overall health, and there are many, easy ways to promote wellness in your practice. Hold walking meetings Some hospitals and medical practices regularly hold Walk with a Doc’ programs for patients and those within...

The patient referral system is one of the most important pathways within pediatric healthcare. Ideally, it operates smoothly, to ensure that all patients regardless of socio-economic background, gender, or race are able to take steps towards good health.  In a recent issue of Pediatrics, a study confirmed that there were several factors that affected the pediatric referral system negatively, ranging from race and zip code to whether the patient had public insurance. The authors of the study also noted what factors made a positive impact on whether referrals were scheduled quickly and attended by patients and their families. There are a...

The ever-changing landscape of healthcare means that primary care physicians are facing some tough competition. Pediatricians recognize that on-demand care options like urgent care centers and retail clinics are taking pediatric patients away from their medical home. However, research suggests that the greatest threat to traditional healthcare is direct-to-consumer telemedicine. During the winter months, more children get sick, and many families are so busy that they find care where it is most convenient. By offering telemedicine at your practice, you can improve accessibility when these situations occur. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. Your patients are better off seeing you via telemedicine...

In addition to toothy smiles and reward stickers, pediatric practices run on efficiency. Streamlined systems are essential for providers, administrators, staff members, patients, and their families. This is especially true when prescribing medications, including controlled substances. In pediatrics, the most common controlled substances are typically ADHD medications. These maintenance drugs are extremely important to your young patients, and a delay in receiving them can affect the patient's entire family. Are you wondering whether electronically prescribing these medications is valuable for your independent pediatric practice? Here are five benefits of electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS). 1. Streamlined clinical workflow When you’re working within your...

In order to truly provide top-notch medical care at your pediatric practice, you need an all-star team of professionals working around you. Front desk staff, nurse practitioners, medical billers, the list goes on. A successful medical practice relies on a full staff of talented people. A hiring mistake alone, can cost you 15 times an employee’s base salary in hard costs and lost productivity. You are in the medical profession. You are not a Human Resource Manager. You might be a little lost when it comes to hiring for your practice. In this article, I am going to give you the...

Preventative care is the cornerstone of pediatrics, yet many practices don’t optimize their well visits. If you are not doing proactive recalls, you are leaving money on the table and your patients are not receiving optimal care. There are several aspects to optimize well visits but your practice must be committed to doing this on a regular basis. Where to start? Be reactive within the office. Every time a patient’s chart is touched (triage nurse, vaccine-only visit, form request, sick visit), train your entire team to look for the red date, indicating the patient is overdue for a well visit. Encourage...

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