Getting Back to Getting Better: Children’s Mercy Begins Phased-in Plan to Care for More Children
Kansas City, Mo. – May 18, 2020 - As COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, and with additional safety protocols in place, Children’s Mercy today began a new phased-in plan to treat more pediatric patients.
“Throughout the pandemic, we continued to treat patients who needed to be seen urgently either in-person or by using telemedicine,” said Paul Kempinski, MS, FACHE, president and CEO of Children’s Mercy. “While some pediatric care may be deferrable for a limited time, delays in care for children may result in lifelong health consequences.”
As of today, all clinics and the surgery department have begun a phased-in approach to reschedule postponed appointments and schedule new appointments. Some areas will be ramping up more quickly than others based on several factors including the availability of telemedicine, personal protective equipment, and backlog of cases.
Telemedicine visits will continue to be offered. Since March, telemedicine visits have increased nearly 500% with an overwhelming positive response from parents. Nearly 90% of families who participated in a telemedicine visit from their home rated the experience a 9 or 10 on a 10-point patient satisfaction scale.
“While we are beginning to see more patients in-person, we remain fully committed to the use of telemedicine and intend to continue to support and grow this safe, convenient option that parents tell us they love and, in some cases, prefer,” Kempinski said. “We believe that, by greatly increasing our use of telemedicine and maintaining in-person visits at about 60% of pre-COVID levels, we can keep our families and staff safe while providing necessary access to world-class care for children.”
Kempinski said some parents have expressed concern about bringing their child to a hospital during a pandemic. “We want parents to know that it’s safe to come to Children’s Mercy. We have taken numerous safety measures to protect patients, families and staff. Those include universal health screenings with temperature check, universal masking, visitor restrictions, social distancing, separation between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, and deep and frequent cleanings. Our nationally known Infectious Disease and Prevention specialists provide us constant guidance on how we can ensure the safest environment possible.”
As the city reopens, there will be more children with acute infectious illnesses. Children’s Mercy’s Urgent Care Centers and two Emergency Departments remain open and ready to care for children with acute needs.
Children’s Mercy will call families when ready to reschedule appointments that were cancelled due to COVID-19. If a child was referred to Children’s Mercy, but not previously scheduled, families will be notified by call or text to schedule an appointment. To schedule a new appointment, parents are asked to call (816) 234-3700.
About Children’s Mercy Kansas City
Founded in 1897, Children’s Mercy is one of the nation’s top pediatric medical centers. With not-for-profit hospitals in Missouri and Kansas, and numerous specialty clinics in both states, Children’s Mercy provides the highest level of care for children from birth through the age of 21. U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly ranked Children’s Mercy as one of “America's Best Children's Hospitals.” For the fourth time in a row, Children’s Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to only about 8 percent of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. Its faculty of more than 700 pediatric subspecialists and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. Thanks to generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s Mercy provides medical care to every child who passes through its doors, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. For more information about Children’s Mercy and its research, visit childrensmercy.org. For breaking news and videos, follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.