Know When to Walk In
With fall starting (and winter around the corner!) our walk-in hours get busier than ever. We asked Dr. Aronson a few questions about walk-in hours in order to make the appointments go as smoothly as possible.
How many kids do you typically see in a day for walk-in hours?
Summer is often a bit slower as there are less illnesses around and families are often out of the area on vacation. The winter months – during cold and flu season when viruses are spreading through schools usually get busier. During the summer we may have 10-15 kids a morning where the winter may be close to 40 or more that come in each day! Still, though, it really can be unpredictable with some larger numbers in summer, and some slower winter days.
What made you decide to offer afternoon hours? And have they been busy?
We decided to offer afternoon hours in order to increase access for families and kids to get in when needed. We always have times blocked off each morning for families who call in for sick visits – but we were finding that these were filling up as the days went on, making it harder to find appointment times for kids coming home from school or daycare with concerns. We know it’s more convenient for families to just be able to come in as needed, rather than having to try to call in first. Providing excellent and convenient care (and following the Medical Home model) means having families using their primary care whenever possible instead of going to quick care clinics or ERs.
What kinds of issues are best served by walk-in hours?
Walk-in is really designed to handle acute care issues – cold symptoms, pink eye, fever, throwing up or diarrhea, ear or throat pain, rashes or minor injuries.
When should parents instead make an appointment for their child?
The set up of walk-in times are for the providers to be able to spend some basic time assessing and treating concerns. For more chronic conditions or complaints – good medical care warrants a scheduled visit, which will allow a more complete and thorough assessment of the issues and a more detailed discussion of the diagnosis and treatment plan. We really want to provide the best possible care for your child – and the walk-in sick format does not adequately allow for this when the issues are more chronic and long standing. Things like recurrent headaches, abdominal pain, back pain, behavior or emotional concerns – all deserve a scheduled sick visit appointment.
Can families call first to see if they should come to walk-in hours?
Yes – our triage nurses start answering calls at 8AM, which allows for 90 minutes to get here for the morning walk in – and they are available to answer questions throughout the day to help a parent know if walk in times are appropriate or if the issues are better managed at a scheduled visit.