Beaches Pediatrics recently finished a yearlong evaluation process to become recognized by the NCQA as a Patient Centered Medical Home!!!
NCQA (www.ncqa.org) stands for “National Council on Quality Assurance” and is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality in the United States. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations (including private medical practices) and manages the evolution of HEDIS–the performance measurement tool used by more than 90 percent of the nation’s health plans. So Beaches Pediatrics’ accreditation by this organization is a BIG DEAL!
Meaningful use means using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to:
- Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
- Engage patients and family
- Improve care coordination, and population and public health
- Maintain privacy and security of patient health information
Ultimately, it is hoped that the meaningful use compliance will result in:
- Better clinical outcomes
- Improved population health outcomes
- Increased transparency and efficiency
- Empowered individuals
- More robust research data on health systems
Beaches Pediatrics monitors several measures set by the government to assure that we are using our EMR in a way to best serve YOU! You are welcome to review reports of other measures that we monitor to assure that we are providing the most up-to-date care for your child. Our goal is to determine whether our workflow needs to be adjusted when the numbers do not meet OUR goals or whether we need to adjust how we are documenting various measures.
We are also looking at comments YOU provide to improve our services! For example, we are adding a kiosk to help streamline check-in and we have changed our workflow in the office in response to family comments that they want to get in and out more quickly.
Here are some results we have obtained (green is GOOD) »
What is a PCMH? PCMH stands for Patient-Centered Medical Home. It’s not a building. Its a way of providing comprehensive evidence-based medicine, where we as your pediatric care team work in partnership with you and your child to make sure that all of your child’s medical and non-medical needs are met.
In providing a Patient-Centered Medical Home for your child, we stress wellness, healthy lifestyles, and illness prevention. We strive to be pro-active rather than reactive. The tools we use to prevent disease include a healthy diet, appropriate nutritional supplements, and family physical activity. We supply the cornerstone for a lifestyle that changes the nature of doctor visits from sick-child care to well-child care.
Beaches Pediatrics has been a Patient-Centered Medical Home since we opened our doors in 2004. However, we are now undergoing a “renovation” in order to streamline our processes and improve the way we coordinate your child’s care. Our goal is to increase the safety, efficiency, and quality of the care we provide. We hope you like the changes you see!
To achieve our goals, we are participating in the recognition program of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Achieving recognition through this program demonstrates that we value quality health care delivery and the most up-to-date clinical methods to ensure that our patients receive the best care at the right time.
Our team includes a board-certified integrative and holistic physician, two osteopathic physicians (also known as DOs) who are trained in integrative pediatric medicine, a clinical lactation consultant, and experienced pediatric nurses and medical assistants. This means that our team has been trained to help your child thrive—not only physically, but also academically and emotionally—and to help you as a parent manage your family’s health.
Here is what we strive to provide as a PCMH:
- Equal access to care for all of our patients, regardless of your payment source
- Coordination of the care your child receives across multiple settings (specialists, urgent-care centers, and other facilities) including behavioral health providers
- Consistent practice hours from 8:15 am to 5:30 pm, with early and late hours reserved for same-day appointments so we can see your child as quickly as possible when your child is ill and when it is convenient for YOU
- A consistent relationship for each child and their family with an identified primary care clinician
- 24/7 access to clinical advice both during office hours and also after hours for urgent concerns
- Provision of evidence-based medical care to provide your child with the most up-to-date medical advice available
- Support for your “whole child,” not just his or her body parts! We can help with behavioral concerns as well as mental health concerns, school concerns, or family issues
- Assistance in obtaining educational materials to help with either medical problems or medical coverage concerns
Our quality improvement activities include YOU as a partner in your child’s care. You can help by providing
- Your child’s complete medical history
- A complete family history to help us understand any illnesses for which your child may be at risk
- A complete social history to help us understand any background information that may affect your child’s health and well being
- Information about any other providers that your child has seen
- At every visit, an accurate update of medications your child is taking
- Your major concerns and questions about your child’s health and medical care
- Your ideas on how to optimize your child’s care
We are using the National Council on Quality Assurance guidelines for optimizing our PCMH activities. Their website, http://www.ncqa.org/Programs/Recognition.aspx, has more information about the standards of excellence we are striving to achieve.
We are excited to announce that Dr. Joanna Walker will be joining the Beaches Pediatrics family in May 2015! Dr. Walker received her medical degree from Nova Southeastern University after graduating from University of Florida (go Gators!). She is board certified in Pediatrics, and as a DO has training and expertise in integrative and holistic medicine.
Dr. Walker is an experienced pediatrician who spent 7 years of active duty service in the United States Air Force as a pediatrician and is currently working as a pediatrician in Georgia until her family can move to Jacksonville in May.
Dr. Walker’s special interests include allergies and asthma, childhood obesity and developmental and behavioral pediatrics.
In her spare time she spends time at the beach, reads, plays with her two young children and does some interior design!
Dr. Walker, along with Dr. Roewe and Dr. Cooper, is passionate about preventive care and working with families to promote a healthy lifestyle. She will be the perfect addition to the Beaches Pediatrics team!
Beaches Pediatrics: A Decade Ahead
It’s our anniversary! Beaches Pediatrics opened its doors 10 years ago today with one doctor, two staff members and one goal: to help parents improve their children’s health. In response to patient demand, we now have two offices to care for Jacksonville’s children and families. Pediatric medicine has changed over the past decade, and so has Beaches Pediatrics. So let’s take a quick look at these changes!
Care for children has changed as the landscape of illness, information technology and medication has changed. “Dick and Jane” books have given way to computer literacy. Because of the recent trend of vaccine refusals, children are once again getting measles, mumps, whooping cough and meningitis—diseases that had all but disappeared early in the decade. Meanwhile, children now are more frequently diagnosed with obesity, autism, behavioral problems, anxiety and depression. And, thanks to the overuse of antibiotics over the past decade, pediatricians are now dealing with increasingly resistant bacterial infections in children.
In spite of the increase in some disorders, pediatric medicine has gone from a reactive profession, dealing with curing disease, to a proactive profession focusing on family health and dynamics. As the amount of medical information has increased over 10 years, pediatricians now not only care for children, but also help parents navigate the ever-increasing morass of information. The Web is a great tool, and “Dr. Google” is a great source of information. Some of it is accurate, but some of it is false and frightening. As part of our job as pediatricians, we need to be able to help parents separate fact from fiction.
Beaches Pediatrics began as an attempt to bring balance to children’s health care. We focus on the family and the child’s relationship to that family. We try to help parents maintain their child’s health so that office visits and medications are only rarely needed. We advocate for the use of the same natural remedies that grandma liked: tea and honey, salt water nasal rinses, and a wholesome diet with an active life style. We work on helping parents and children become families—eating together, playing together, and growing together. We try to ensure that children are doing well in school and help parents find resources if they are not. We screen for behavioral problems, anxiety, and depression and guide parents to improve their child’s mental health.
Caring for children in pediatrics is more than diagnosing strep throat, ear infections, and pneumonia. It is caring for families. Hence our motto: “Your family is our family.” Beaches Pediatrics has changed over the years in response to changes in medical knowledge, information technology, and children’s needs. What we have not changed is our focus on cutting-edge medicine and our commitment to keeping your children happy and healthy and ready for the next 10 years and beyond!
We are delighted to welcome Dr. Melissa Roewe to the Beaches Pediatrics family! Dr. Roewe is a Jacksonville native who did her Pediatrics training in Orlando at the Arnold Palmer Hospital. She is board certified in Pediatrics and has a special interest in nutrition and obesity. She will be working several days a week in both offices.
Teaching Children About Giving
Holiday time! It’s time to think about gift giving. Most parents want to give their child the perfect gift, anticipating bright eyes on Christmas morning or during the Hanukkah season as the child sees the wrapped gift and opens it with delight. And sometimes that happens.
The gift is not what the child had dreamed of. Maybe because he is young and changed his mind after you had bought the gift. Maybe because you couldn’t afford the gift she really wanted and you bought something else. Maybe because the gift was in such high demand that you couldn’t find it.
How do you get away from the “gimmies” and start teaching the joys of gift receiving and gift giving?
Teaching Children About Budgets
Most of us have a gift budget. There is nothing wrong with letting children know that some of the things they want are not in your budget. Santa may have a budget too. He may have only a limited number of “special” toys, so he may have to give them to children who are more needy than yours.
Prepare your child ahead of time for the possibility that they may not get exactly what they want. Let him know he will get what someone else (even Santa) thinks he will enjoy. Give your child a small amount of money so that SHE can buy gifts for other people (friends, siblings, parents, or grandparents). A child will quickly learn that thinking about what someone else might like is a hard task. Moreover, she will have to decide whether to buy more expensive gifts for fewer people, or less expensive gifts for more people. And maybe Grandma would really prefer a special hand-drawn picture!
Teaching Children About The Less Fortunate
Finally, help your child think about children whose parents can barely meet their family’s needs and may need some help over the holidays to get some “wants.” Maybe have your child go through his toys and donate a good one—not one that’s old or worn out—to a homeless shelter. Or he could spend some of his allowance money to buy a new toy for a child who is not as fortunate as he.
Keep reminding your child that Christmas, Hanukkah, and many other holidays are about family, remembering your good fortune, and about giving.
Enjoy this holiday season with your family! Make the best gift the gift of YOU—your love, your time, your energy. Take walks! Bake together! Get plenty of sleep!
We are starting to see increasing cases of FLU in the office! We still have a few flu vaccines left so if your child has not yet been immunized this season, make an appointment NOW to get one!
It’s flu season again! Are you prepared?
Beaches pediatrics has a limited quantity of the flu vaccine available, so make an appointment now to get one for you and your child! We are carrying the quadrivalent vaccine this year which is more effective than the prior trivalent form.
What causes the flu?
The flu (influenza) is caused by a virus (an RNA virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae if you really want to know). It is NOT the same as a cold virus. It is NOT the same as gastroenteritis (which people mistakenly call the “stomach flu”.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
The most common symptoms are sore throat, red and itchy eyes, runny nose, fever, chills, headache, cough, muscle aches, fatigue and feeling crummy. Children can also get nausea and vomiting.
Almost a third of people who have the flu have NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL!
Some children and adults get complications from the flu, including ear infections, sinusitis and pneumonia.
How is flu transmitted?
You can get the flu from air-born droplets (someone else coughs or sneezes around you) OR from touching nasal secretions of someone with flu OR from contaminated surfaces (like the cart at the grocery store!).
How can you prevent the flu?
Preventing the flu is pretty easy! The most important preventative measure is GOOD HAND WASHING with plain old SOAP! And remind children to keep their hands away from their face. Sunlight and disinfectants also inactivate the virus, so wipe down your shopping cart with a disinfectant wipe!
In addition to hand washing, make sure that you and your child get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends the vaccine for all high-risk individuals, which includes young children.
This year, there are two forms of vaccine—trivalent (which protects against 3 types of flu) and quadrivalent (which protects against FOUR types of flu). Needless to say, the quadrivalent is a better vaccine—it will likely be the ONLY one available in 2014.
The vaccine comes in a nasal spray, which children tend to like better. It is an attenuated (weakened) live virus so should not be used by anyone with a low immune system. The other form is the shot. The shot is a killed virus so, whatever you may believe, you CANNOT CONTRACT THE FLU FROM THE FLU SHOT!
How is the flu treated?
Since a virus causes the flu, standard antibiotics are ineffective in treating the symptoms. However, an antiviral medication can be prescribed, which will shorten the course of the illness by a few days. This medication must be started within a few days of symptoms starting, so see your pediatrician right away if you think you child has the flu. There is a rapid flu test that your pediatrician can do in the office to confirm the diagnosis.
Make sure your ill child gets plenty of rest and fluids when he has the flu! And if he is not getting better, or looks particularly ill to you, make sure you see your pediatrician. Although the flu itself is caused by a virus, bacterial infections can occur with it and those do need to be treated with an antibiotic.
For more information about the flu visit:
Congratulations on your new baby!
Most people have dreamed of becoming a parent since they were toddlers. Children love to dress up like their parents. Even boys love to play with dolls. And ALL children have been heard to mumble: “when I have kids, I’m NEVER going to yell, punish, …..[fill in the blank]”!
Finally, you are expecting a baby and you ARE going to be a parent! All through your pregnancy you dream of this child. You picture her, plan for her education and her future. You start reading parenting books. You are going to be a perfect parent and your child is going to be a perfect child. No mistakes for you!
Then your baby is born. He is tiny. And WAYYYYYY more fragile looking than the baby in your head. And YOU are responsible for the little human being! Whoa…..Suddenly some of the excitement is tempered by a little fear. If you are a mom, you worry about whether your baby is gaining enough weight. If you are a dad….wow…suddenly you realize you have to support a BABY…for 18 YEARS!
And ALL parents worry about whether their child will be normal. There’s so much talk about autism, hormones in our milk, toxic metals in our food (arsenic in apple juice…REALLY?). What is a parent to do? Every book or article you read says something different!
And what about education? If you don’t start teaching your child when he is an infant, he’s going to be behind and not get into college! So you start from day one reading, pointing to alphabet letters, counting and worrying.
Are you panicking yet? Most parents do a little of that. They worry about the big things—growth, intelligence, development. And then there are the little things. Your baby has eczema, or asthma, or a funny bump on his head, or a big birthmark. Yikes. Your baby has just been born, and already he has things wrong with him. How could this be?
So… what is this new baby thing all about? It’s about becoming a parent. Oddly enough, there is a little grief involved in parenting, and a lot of worry. But there it’s also TONS of fun.
All parents have a vision of their [perfect] child and how they are going to raise him, but their real child almost never fits the picture they have had in their mind. Real children are just that—real. They have lots of wonderful characteristics. But like real people, they also have some faults. Parents have to continually readjust their mental picture to conform to their real child. They have to grieve a little for the perfect child they envisioned during their pregnancy and get to know their real child. What are your child’s strengths? Help her build on them! What are her weaknesses? Help her recognize them and learn to overcome them!
Most importantly, have fun being a parent! When you are worried, talk to your parents if they are involved. Remind yourself, that with all the mistakes they made (and yes…all parents make mistakes), they managed to raise YOU! Talk to your pediatrician—we pediatricians have had lots of experience dealing with new parents (and not so new ones) and are here to help!
Look around you. The happiest people are not necessarily the ones who have gone to private schools, ivy league colleges and graduate schools. Nor are they the ones with fancy cars, and lots of “toys”. They are the ones who are proud of their accomplishments, value their family and work hard!
So…in the words of Dr. Seuss:
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away