Best Pediatrician Facilities in Atlanta
Best Pediatrician Facilities in Atlanta
The first choice every new parent has to make is who they will trust to their child’s medical care. For those living in Atlanta, there are many great providers to choose from. It may be difficult to begin your search without knowing exactly what to look for, or what specific questions you should ask. Below are a few starting points as well as guidelines to use for choosing your Atlanta pediatrician.
Starting Your Search for an Atlanta Pediatrician
The first step in starting your search for an Atlanta pediatrician can be asking fellow parents which provider they use for their children’s health care. A strong recommendation can give you a great start in selecting your child’s health care provider. Large cities also have parenting guides and magazines, which are local publications that contain advertisements for child and parent friendly businesses and providers. If your child attends day care or preschool, you can also ask their teachers for recommendations.
You can also research pediatricians online. Many health forums offer profiles on local physicians, which can include education, work history, hours of operation, and any hospital affiliations. Many physicians belong to professional medical organizations and have research or educational articles published under their name. There are also websites that allow patients to rate their physician based on wait times, bedside manner, and treatment practices.
Take the time to listen to the experiences other parents have had with pediatricians. It can give great insight as to how a physician practices, as well as what methods they use to treat various illnesses and injuries. Parents can also give recommendations about specific pediatric practices and their operational standards, such as office hours, appointment offerings, and after hours or emergent care capabilities.
What Should I Look For In An Atlanta Pediatrician?
The most important thing you can do when looking for an Atlanta pediatrician is to meet them in person for a consultation or interview. Many physicians will do new patient consultations at the end of their day to allow time for you to get to know them and ask questions about their practice. Some pediatrics offices may offer an open meeting for prospective patients and their families. This will give you and your child a chance to tour the facility and view exam rooms and treatment areas. You can also ask questions about the practice and meet a number of pediatricians without having to schedule a separate consult with each individual physician.
You should choose a physician who will see you as an important part of your child’s wellness and treatment plan. Your Atlanta pediatrician should have hours that are convenient during the work week, as well as either having late or weekend hours for minor emergencies. Your physician should also have affiliation with local hospitals. If your child should need hospitalization or emergency treatment, your pediatrician should have privileges at the hospital you choose to use.
Many parents choose to turn to homeopathic or natural treatment remedies, or choose to immunize their children on an alternative immunization schedule, rather than a federal or state mandated schedule. If you are a firm believer in these practices, it is important to address them during a consult to see if the provider is comfortable accommodating these requests.
In today’s era of streamlining and modernizing healthcare, it is also important to choose a physician who is using a streamlined electronic medical record system. This will allow for continuity of care if your child visits specialty physicians or has hospitalizations. Your Atlanta pediatrician should be able to access your child’s medical record easily and be able to transfer appropriate medical records to another physician or facility for treatment.
Researching Atlanta Pediatrics Practices
While choosing an Atlanta pediatrician is a big decision, don’t overlook the importance of a supportive office staff. The pediatrics practice you choose should have adequate staff to answer phone calls and direct your call to the appropriate department or person. Extended wait times on the phone can delay your child getting the treatment he or she needs.
Your pediatrics practice should be able to accommodate requests for sick visit appointments within 24 hours. Depending on the severity of your child’s symptoms, your child’s physician should be able to evaluate your child within a reasonable amount of time. Some pediatricians also offer work in appointments for urgent cases when a child cannot wait until the following business day.
The waiting area makes the first impression on both parents and children. It should be friendly and inviting, which will help your child feel more comfortable. Many waiting areas offer televisions, books, and other toys and activities for children. Ideally, the waiting area should be divided into a sick area for ill children and a well area for healthy children. This will avoid any potential exposures for children who are not sick. The waiting area should also be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis to reduce the chances of acquiring an illness.
Choosing Your Atlanta Pediatrician
When choosing your pediatrician, you should ensure that the physician is an approved primary care provider with your health insurance carrier. This can significantly reduce your out of pocket health care and prescription costs. It would also be beneficial to ensure that any hospital your chosen pediatrician is affiliated with is also an in network provider under your insurance policy.
Once you have chosen your Atlanta pediatrician, it would be wise to set up an initial well child appointment to get established with the practice. Once you are an established patient, it will be easier to get appointments for urgent illnesses and injuries if needed. This will also give your pediatrician the chance to examine your child when he or she is well, and have a baseline to reference to in case your child has any health issues that need to be addressed in the future.
It is also important to have any previous medical records transferred to your new Atlanta pediatrician. This can ensure continuity of care for any previous medical problems your child may have encountered. Once your pediatrician has an overview of your child’s health history, he or she can make informed and appropriate decisions regarding your child’s medical care. Your pediatrician will also be able to track growth and development trends that your child has followed since birth.
If your child needs to see a specialist, make sure that your Atlanta pediatrician is referenced as the referring physician. This will ensure that he or she will receive a copy of your child’s specialist visit and can apply it to the primary medical record for reference. This can also be done for any lab tests or radiologic exams your child may have to have performed at an outpatient facility.
As you can see, there are many things to take into consideration when choosing your child’s Atlanta pediatrician. It is an important decision that should not be made lightly or without research and education. Your pediatrician can be a wealth of knowledge on a wide variety of topics, such as dental care, safety, nutrition, preventative care, and proper growth and development. By following these guidelines, parents can feel comfortable making the educated decision of who their Atlanta pediatrician will be.