‘We’re Meeting Our Families Where They Are’

Sue Kressly, MD, FAAP

May 5, 2020

In Bucks County, Pa., our families are really working hard to stay at home and stay safe, so we have been finding creative ways to meet their needs.

Since the Academy published their position on continuing to provide access to well care, including via telehealth, we are scheduling two-part well visits for patients who don’t need vaccines. 

We are finding that this is done best at the beginning or end of the day, when parents don’t have work obligations and patients don’t have online school sessions. 

We have prepared guidance on our website for families on how to plan for a successful telehealth visit. In planning for recovery, we have created 10-minute follow-up well appointments, where we will be closing the gaps for the in-person part of the well visit.

We are setting the expectation up front that families schedule both appointments at the same time, and are clear that the in-person visit will be a quick visit to get vital signs and growth measurements, a quick exam and close any gaps that couldn’t be accomplished virtually. We are planning for July/August for those visits but have told families that may change if needed. 

Also, we wanted to make sure families searching for a pediatrician for their unborn child could still find us, so we have started virtual prenatal visits where we get 3 to 10 expectant parents on a virtual meeting twice monthly, have a presentation and answer their questions. That has been incredibly well received. We will likely continue those beyond COVID-19 to reach families who can’t make it to our in-person prenatal appointments. 

We’re meeting our families where they are, to provide the care they need.

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*The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

About the Author

Sue Kressly, MD, FAAP

Sue Kressly, MD, FAAP, is a primary care pediatrician with a four-doctor independent practice group in Warrington, Pa. She is chair of the AAP’s Private Payer Advocacy Advisory Committee and serves on the Section on Administration and Practice Management as well as the Section on Telehealth Care.