Practice Management

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how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

  • 1.  how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-20-2019 12:33
    ​I am curious as to what your practice does for children of the pregnant patient that come along to her visit.  We are looking for ways to improve our patient experience.  Some children cannot be easily controlled and run the risk of being injured or damaging the machines.  Many patients cannot secure babysitting or someone to come along to their appointments to accompany a child.  Right now we ask that children under 12 be accompanied by another adult who can supervise.  Thank you for any input you can give.

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    Meredith Birsner MD
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  • 2.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-21-2019 08:09
    We do not allow children under 16 in our office.  It makes everyone's life easier.

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    Rizwana Fareeduddin, MD
    Gainesville, FL
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  • 3.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-22-2019 07:08
    How do you handle the patient satisfaction on this issue? Is your office a private practice or within a hospital? ​

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    Susan Finn
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  • 4.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-22-2019 21:41
    Hi there,

    My practice is located in a hospital medical building but owned by Envision.

    At the time the appointment is made, the patient is told that no children under the age of 16 are allowed in the office. Over almost 5 1/2 years I have had only a handful of patients complain. Setting the expectation is key.  The staff loves it, it makes their jobs so much easier.

    Furthermore we do want any liability for babysitting or watching children.

    We have had a few patients over the years who we've had to add on urgently and had a little one with them.  We made those exceptions and they are very rare.

    For the few patients that have complained me personally, I explain to them that at times we give bad news and it's important that we are able to spend time with the patient and comfort her and/or answer her questions- they are understanding after that.

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    Rizwana Fareeduddin, MD
    Gainesville, FL
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  • 5.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-22-2019 20:42
    We allow two visitors. Anyone 4 and under must have an adult supervising. 
    And I've quite helping babysit too. Liability all around.





  • 6.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-22-2019 20:58
    Thank you for your responses! Very helpful. I really am curious as to how folks handle this. We are trying to be patient friendly to our mothers and get them in for needed appointments without anyone getting hurt or any equipment getting damaged. 


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  • 7.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-23-2019 03:15
    Personally, I always find this issue a bit confusing.   I understand that infants and children may be difficult in a physician office at times but I have trouble with excluding them.  Our office takes all families in for visits.  I think having a policy against children in the office makes it harder on people with less means and increases inequities for these patients as they may not have money for child care, a ride to drop off children for child care, etc.

    Sure, the occasional visit may be more difficult, but compliance and satisfaction for patients will probably be improved.  And yes, a medical assistant of staff member on occasion helps in the case of difficulty, but that makes it an office that is helpful and understanding of situations.  We have never had a serious injury or equipment damaged in over 20 years so I think that really does not figure into the equation realistically.   So I would go back to what is the vision and mission you have for your office and does exclusion for physician and staff ease of service really improve the overall vision and mission, and that makes the answer of the question much easier.

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    Brian Iriye
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  • 8.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-23-2019 08:00

    I am in agreement with Brian. My sonographers would appreciate a "no children' rule as it does make the job more difficult but since we are about families, I have not agreed to the request. I too feel it would exclude patients with less resources. And we want our patients  to feel we are here for them, whatever that entails. We are located with a hospital as well.

     

    Sue

     

    Susan Finn

    Program Manager

    Maternal Fetal Medicine

    South Shore Hospital

    Part of South Shore Health

    55 Fogg Road

    Mailbox #99

    South Weymouth MA 02190

    781-624-3439

    sfinn@southshorehealth.org

    www.SouthShoreHealth.org

     

     






  • 9.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-23-2019 22:27
    I appreciate all the discussion here.  We have a very patient focused environment and not having children around allows us to truly
    focus on the mom- and the mom to be able to focus on herself and the visit.

    My practice is 60% Medicaid with a large indigent rural population and small migrant community in surrounding counties.  I worried about their means as well when we opened,  but surprisingly it has not been an issue.

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    Rizwana Fareeduddin, MD
    Gainesville, FL
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  • 10.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-24-2019 01:40
    Some hospital systems (typically children's) have childcare services for siblings while taking one kid to a clinician. I have suggested this to our organization. 
    I feel our sonographers do a better job when they can fully focus. My patients usually understand and find ways to make it work (like Riz's population). 
    It's not about worsening inequities or being less family friendly. People don't bring their kids to other diagnostic imaging studies, why obsteric ultrasound? Because of expectations. That's why first glimpse, etc makes money...it's fun, it's consumer centric. We can reframe those expectations.
    Yes patient satisfaction is valuable, but I would argue that if my staff is also satisfied, they do a better job thus also contributing to patient satisfaction and quality of care. Having a policy the strikes a compromise between the patient/family experience and respecting the sonographers needs/skillset is a good middle ground. 





  • 11.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-24-2019 08:06

    I too want to appreciate everyone who contributed to this discussion as this is something we struggle with in our department. This has given me lots to think about and good information to bring to my team.

     

    Regards,

     

    Sue

     

    Susan Finn

    Program Manager

    Maternal Fetal Medicine

    South Shore Hospital

    Part of South Shore Health

    55 Fogg Road

    Mailbox #99

    South Weymouth MA 02190

    781-624-3439

    sfinn@southshorehealth.org

    www.SouthShoreHealth.org

     

     






  • 12.  RE: how do you handle children at ultrasound visits

    Posted 07-23-2019 07:53

    We allow children as long as any under 10 have another adult with them. We, rarely,  will use a staff member (NA or admin) if needed.

     

     

     

    Sue

     

    Susan Finn

    Program Manager

    Maternal Fetal Medicine

    South Shore Hospital

    Part of South Shore Health

    55 Fogg Road

    Mailbox #99

    South Weymouth MA 02190

    781-624-3439

    sfinn@southshorehealth.org

    www.SouthShoreHealth.org