WE ARE NOT CURRENTLY SET UP TO COMMUNICATE QUESTIONS TO OUR STAFF FOR MEDICAL QUESTIONS VIA E-MAIL DUE TO HIPAA PRIVACY LAWS.
During office hours
Please call and stay on the line for the message desk. A staff person will take a message and then send it via our electronic message system through our electronic records to the appropriate person (physician, triage nurse, referrals). Let them know the pharmacy number if you are expecting to have a medication called in.
For routine questions
It is usually best to request the nurse to answer your question. Your call will probably be returned within an hour. If you prefer to leave the message for a physician, they will let you know if that physician is in the office that day to return your call. Our physicians return calls at various times, so it is helpful if you give a time period you will be available at a certain number and if there is an alternate number you will be available after a certain time. This will minimize the “phone tag” problem with the doctor.
For urgent problems
Let the message desk know and they will find someone to talk to you right away. Or you may choose option “2” when you call the main office number to talk to a medical assistant immediately.
After office hours
(After hours will be hours after about 7 PM Monday through Thursday; after 5 PM Friday; after office closes in the afternoon on weekends; all day and night on major holidays). A physician and the highly trained Sharp nurse triage staff are available for problems that cannot wait until the office opens in the morning. The Sharp nurse triage staff will field calls at night with physician back-up for more complex decisions.
We answer phones after 8:15 AM Monday through Friday and after 8:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday. If you have left a message and have not heard back in an hour or two in the evenings or promptly in the middle of the night, please call again. Occasionally we have been given a wrong number, or you may find your phone is off the hook.
We are closed for major holidays, but there is always someone on call by phone to provide you with emergency advice or direct you to an emergency room if necessary if it can not wait until the office opens the next day.
What warrants an emergency night call
To best serve you, we would like to offer some guidelines for what is an emergency call in the middle of the night. When you have decided to call us after hours, we suggest the following guidelines, excerpted from Penelope Leach’s book, Your Baby And Child:
- If you were unable to contact the doctor, would you feel that you had to call an ambulance or drive the child to the nearest emergency room?
- If you reached the doctor and she/he agreed the child needed to be seen urgently in the emergency room, would you be eager to dress yourself and the child and go there?
- If your doctor listened to your story, either over the phone or in person, and recommended admitting the child to the hospital, would you accept that advice without hesitation?