To the parents and families of Tennessee Pediatrics, Murfreesboro,
We as a practice want to reach out to you to offer reassurance and guidance regarding measures we are taking as a practice to continue to serve your child’s health care needs through the Coronavirus pandemic. Over the last 2 weeks we have made dramatic changes to our procedures in the office in order to assure that we are protecting our patients to the best of our ability from exposure to COVID-19 in our office. This has included separating all patients from the moment of arrival into individual patient rooms, adding heightened cleaning measures between sick walk-in appointments and well visits, and after each patient visit in exam rooms, and rescheduling of certain appointments to better separate sick from well patients.
However, moving forward, and in accordance to the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, we will be temporarily suspending our morning walk-in hours, effective immediately. This will allow us to better separate our sick and well patients by ensuring all patients are triaged over the phone, and scheduled appropriately. We will also be moving well visits to the morning hours, in order to enable separation of well and sick patients, and to have well patients seen in the building prior to using rooms for sick patients. We will still be available for urgent appointments in the mornings, and will have a designated provider to see your child if needed prior to our afternoon sick appointments.
We will be reaching out to all families in the coming weeks to confirm or reschedule appointments that don’t currently fit with this scheduling model. Rest assured that all of this is being done in accordance with CDC guidance to help maintain appropriate separation between patients and ensure all children, especially those age 5 and under, can be seen for well visits and necessary vaccines. We will also be coming online with the ability to do telemedicine for select appointments in the coming week, and will reach out to schedule these visits as appropriate.
When you come to our office for your visits, we would ask that you only bring scheduled patients to the office – avoid bringing unscheduled siblings if at all possible. Additionally, we ask that those 65 and older avoid coming into our office unless there is no alternative. Moving forward our goal is that all sick children will first be triaged over the phone and scheduled in advance, so please do not bring sick children in to a sibling’s well visit. This is, again, in the interest of keeping our well child time designated for those well patients.
COVID-19 testing is still not widely available to our patient population as tests are still limited in availability and the guidelines still recommend reserving testing for higher risk populations. We are following CDC and TN Department of Health guidelines for who to test at this time. If your child has FEVER and COUGH, but is well appearing, the best course of action is to keep them home and separated until they are symptom free. If your child has fever for more than 72 hours, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE so we can triage your child and schedule an appointment. If you feel your child may need to be tested for COVID-19, please contact our office first so we can offer advice as to how to proceed.
Thank you for your support as we seek to provide quality care for your children while maintaining everyone’s safety to the best of our ability. We ask for your patience as we continue to refine our process through these challenging times. We may make further changes and offer further advice as we receive additional guidance from the CDC and AAP throughout this pandemic. We welcome your questions in this uncertain time, and will continue to be here as a resource for your families through the coming weeks and months.
Your providers at Tennessee Pediatrics, Murfreesboro
Dr. Joseph Little, Dr. Edward Eastham, Dr. Libby Long, Dr. Timothy Henschel, Dr. Jenifer Butler, Dr. Kate Hoey, Dr. Bethany Carnes, Dr. Stephen Claycomb