Children’s Healthcare’s Adolescent Privacy and Confidentiality Policy UPDATE
At Children’s Health Care, we enjoy helping to ease the transition of adolescents into adulthood and encourage our patients to develop skills necessary to take on responsibility for their own healthcare. Starting in the early teen years, our providers will often suggest that a portion of your child’s visit occur without their guardian present. We believe that time spent with the teen gives the opportunity to discuss sensitive topics that might be difficult to discuss in front of a guardian. While we encourage teens to be open and honest with their guardians, discussions and disclosures related to sensitive topics between the provider and the teen, or results of any sensitive labs or tests, are considered private and confidential. Be assured that information would always be shared at the adolescent’s request, or in the rare circumstance that the adolescent poses a significant risk to him or herself or others.
To be consistent with respecting the adolescent’s right to privacy, teens over 16 will be asked to share their email and phone number, which can be used for communication and for transitioning them to exclusive full access to their patient portal. Parents will continue to have limited access to areas on the portal such as appointments and immunization records.
Children’s Healthcare’s Adolescent Privacy and Confidentiality Policy is consistent with Massachusetts and New Hampshire state laws, and is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Please feel free to ask a provider if you have any questions about this or any CHC policies.
Per the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, patients and family members over the age of 2 must wear masks in our office at all times. This applies to vaccinated patients and families.
People aged 12 and over of the following conditions are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Adolescents aged 12-18 year old are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine only. The vaccine trial showed 100% efficacy at preventing severe COVID-19 infection in this population. Trial participants tolerated the vaccine well and the side effects were similar to the adult population after the Pfizer vaccine. If your child receives the vaccine, please bring the card to their next appointment so we can record it into their health record.
For information about the vaccine, vaccine safety, and getting the vaccine after Covid-19 infection, please refer to the CDC FAQ page.
If you or your child are eligible for the vaccine, please click HERE to schedule your vaccine or call 211 or 877-211-6277 for assistance. For more information on eligibility and how to schedule an appointment click HERE.
For information about the Covid-19 vaccine and how it works please see this presentation: covid-19 vaccine
CHC can order testing Monday-Friday at Anna Jaques Hospital or Holy Family Hospital. This testing is done by appointment only. TWe have limited ability to test in our office. The provider seeing your for your visit will determine which test is appropriate if recommended during an office visit.
We have no way to expedite your test results. These tests are run by outside facilities currently overwhelmed with demand and need for testing.
Quarantine: Please note, if you or your child has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 infection, we recommend you quarantine for 10-14 days from last known contact with that person. Symptoms can take 2-14 days to appear. This is vitally important for reducing the spread of the virus. If you have been vaccinated and it has been two weeks since your last vaccine, you do not need to quarantine after an exposure. We do recommend monitoring yourself for symptoms for 14 days after exposure.
The CDC has offered an option to reduce the quarantine time to 7-10 days if you have negative test on day 5-7. You still must watch for any symptoms for 14 days after exposure as it can take 14 days to develop symptoms. A 10-14 day quarantine is still the preferred quarantine duration. Local health officials and local organizations may have different recommendations including a full 14 day quarantine.
If you travel and take a COVID-19 test upon returning, you must remain in quarantine until you receive negative test results.
If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and they cannot be isolated (such as small children), you must quarantine for 14 days AFTER their isolation period ends (this generally equates to 24-28 days total).
Isolation: If you have a positive COVID-19 test, you must isolate for 10 days after your first symptom or positive test, AND 24 hours after you fever disappears, AND when other symptoms are improving (excluding loss of taste and smell) OR 10 days after your positive test if you have NO symptoms.
We understand these recommendations are hard to follow. We are all ready for life to get back to normal. By following the CDC recommendations, wearing masks, hand washing, and practicing social distancing, we will get back to normal sooner. Please help us in the fight against COVID-19.
Information about Masks and Children
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend all children over the age of 2 wear a mask when at school or outside of their home. We understand many parents are concerned about their child wearing a mask. Please visit these links that discuss myths around masks as well as children with special needs wearing masks.
Also, please note that we will not be providing letters of exemption for influenza vaccination unless there is a documented allergic reaction to the vaccine. Any issues with influenza vaccination beyond allergic reaction needs to be worked out between your family and the school.
COVID-19 and mental health: This can be a stressful time for children. Please refer to these resources for more information on how to help your child.
URGENT CARE REFERRAL POLICY
At Childrens Health Care, we strive to provide the best care for our patients at both sick and well visits. This includes timely availability of our pediatric providers for urgent visits, with access to your child's medical records, in a friendly and familiar setting. With rare exceptions, such as extreme inclement weather or other emergencies, we are open 365 mornings a year for walk-in sick call and also have urgent appointments available each weekday until 8:00pm.
In most cases, we therefore will not issue referrals or provide approval to insurance companies for outside urgent care or walk-in clinic visits for services that could have been provided in one of our offices on days when we are open. if you have a question about the need for urgent care for your child, please call and speak to our triage nurses or the on-call provider, who can help guide you to the most appropriate care.
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