Central Florida Pediatrics Telephone Policy
Our office strives to provide patients convenient and efficient service via telephone, however, telephones are an instrument of communication only, not diagnosis. Simple things, such as colds, stomach viruses, mild diarrhea, and rashes may, at times, be managed by telephone consultation. However, if your child is ill, there is no substitute for a trip to the office. Once a diagnosis has been made, the telephone is excellent for following the patient’s progress. Please be mindful that telephone systems (voicemail, call transfers, etc.) are subject to technology glitches. If your call has not received a timely response, always call back. The following are guidelines for calling our office as different needs arise.
Except in emergencies, please have the following information available when you call:
- Your child’s main symptoms
- Any chronic disease or health problem your child has
- Your child’s temperature if he or she is sick
- Your child’s approximate weight (for calculating drug dosages)
- The names and dosages of any medications your child is currently taking
- Your pharmacy telephone number
- Pencil and paper to take down any instructions
- Your child in case you need to verify information about the condition
Emergencies (Day or Night)
A situation is considered an “emergency” when an “illness, injury or episode has already, or has the potential to acutely impair one or more vital organ systems such that there is a high probability of imminent or life threatening deterioration in the patient’s condition.”
- Call 911 for any life-threatening situation for which your child might require resuscitation choking, unconscious, not breathing, seizure, etc.).
- For poisonings, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Contact our practice for minor emergencies (dehydration, wounds, injuries, etc.).
- When calling our practice for an emergent situation, always state clearly, “This is an emergency.” Do not allow the answering service or office staff put you on hold, until they have acknowledged your situation.
A trained member of our staff is available to take your calls during normal business hours. Our staff can advise you regarding general care recommendations, managing minor ailments and determining whether or not a visit to the office is necessary. You may also speak to our staff for follow-up on labs, immunization information and coordination of care for outside medical services.
If our staff is unavailable at the time of your call please leave a message. Try to keep your line open while waiting for a return call. In general, calls regarding acute illnesses are returned within the hour. All other calls will be returned within 24 hours. If your call has not been returned, or if your child’s condition worsens, please call back. Please keep in mind that Mondays are our busiest days and return calls will be slower.
If your child is sick and you want to see a practitioner, ALWAYS call first. “Walk-in” appointments disrupt the schedule and are unfair to other patients. For appointments the same day, try to call in the early morning office hours. Our staff takes great care in ensuring your chart is current and the insurance information is correct to avoid any billing or payment problems on your account. Calling early in the day allows sufficient time to have your information in order and expedites your time in the office. Please make sure your babysitter or daycare understands that you should be notified early in the day if there is any chance your child may need to be seen.
Please call for refills or forms during normal business hours. Plan ahead so you don’t run out of important medications. Always have the phone number to your pharmacy available when you call. Please allow at least 48-72 hours for forms to be completed.
Our office is generally open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 11:30am for acute illnesses only. As with normal office hour appointments, you must call ahead. Our phone lines open at 8:00am so please call as early as possible because we do occassionally close early if no appointments are scheduled. The office location for Saturday visits may vary, so always confirm which office is seeing patients. For the remainder of the weekend and holidays please limit your calls to emergent situations only. Calls will be triaged the same as nighttime calls.
Our billing staff will be happy to assist you with any questions regarding your bills and explanations of benefits we receive from your insurance carrier. For questions regarding your coverage and/or policy limitations, please contact your insurance company or your employer.