Choosing your pediatrician is one of the most important decisions you can make for the health and well being of your family. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you’re comfortable with the answers you receive and the way you are treated by the pediatricians and their staff.
While you may have some questions related to specific health issues your children may have, here are some other things to consider:
Does your pediatrician follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is your doctor board certified?
It is important that your child receives the highest level of care, and a doctor who is aligned with the best practices in pediatrics is essential.
Will you have access to a team of providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, lab technicians, and office staff?
A team of providers can be a strong advantage in making sure your child receives timely appointments and prompt attention for urgent medical needs.
Will your physician be focused on spending quality time with you and your child?
Keeping to schedules is certainly important, but spending the right amount of time with your child is even more critical. Will your pediatrician be focused on the right priorities or rushing in and out of appointments?
Will your provider team customize treatment and appointment style in age appropriate ways?
As your child becomes a “tween” and a teenager, it’s important that they begin to learn to manage their own healthcare. They will need increasing levels of privacy with their physician to discuss sensitive issues and get their questions answered. You’ll want a pediatric practice that has the right sensitivity as your child develops.
How are after-hours calls handled? Will you have round-the-clock access to a trained nurse who can counsel you on urgent care issues?
Health needs don’t run according to a “business hours” schedule. You need to make sure that after-hours support is available to you.
What if your child is sick on a Saturday? Can you get in to see a pediatrician?
Saturday morning appointments, should your child start the weekend sick, should be an option for you.
How does the practice handle medical records?
There are many advantages to having an electronic records program in place. You want the pediatric practice you’re considering to be moving in that direction for your convenience, privacy, and consistency of care.
Is the practice covered by your insurance, and is the practice effective at handling insurance payments and billings?
Make sure the practice you choose is appropriate for your health plan. Remember that it’s your responsibility to understand what types of coverage your plan provides, as no pediatric practice knows the ins and outs of every plan.
All of us at Northside Pediatrics would be honored if you and your family consider us for the important role of pediatric provider team. We’d be happy to meet with you in person to answer all of your questions. Contact us to set up a time to tour our offices.