The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends parents aim for continuity of care for their children.
But what does that mean? And why is this important? Let’s explore both these things and more.
What is continuity of care?
Continuity of care means having your child examined by the same pediatrician for as many of his or her medical needs as possible, for as long as possible. Preferably, throughout their entire childhood.
Throughout childhood, your child will likely need to see a variety of specialists. In these cases, the best way to continue maintaining continuity of care is to take your child to a specialist within the same pediatric office.
The benefits of continuity of pediatric care
Consistent style of care
The most successful pediatricians adjust their style of care to meet the unique needs of each child.
For example, where one child might not be afraid of shots, another might feel scared when needles are near. The way each pediatrician approaches these children and helps them feel comfortable will be different. When you see the same pediatrician, the doctor will develop an understanding of how to approach, converse, and provide care for your child in the most successful way possible.
Ability to build a relationship
The more you know someone, the more comfortable you feel around them. Seeing the same pediatrician every time will help both you and your child build trust and feel more at ease when receiving care.
Not only will this help diminish any anxiety about visiting the doctor, it will also help you feel comfortable sharing information, asking questions, and being honest about what’s going on in your child’s life. You are the primary provider for your child, so building this relationship with a pediatrician empowers you to be the best you possibly can be.
Better health history knowledge
Striving for continuity of care provides a common thread, giving one person intimate knowledge of your child’s medical history as they grow. You won’t be starting from scratch on every doctor’s visit.
According to the AAP, when a physician knows your child, they have more opportunities to interact and a better basis for noticing serious health issues that might pop up. Your regular pediatrician will know everything from medical history and developmental milestones to character traits and behaviors.
Make your pediatric office the first call for non life-threatening issues. This way, more serious problems are more likely to be caught and minimized in a timely manner.
Better understanding of Behavioral Health
Behavioral health is a critical aspect of your child’s development. The sooner a behavioral concern is recognized, evaluated, and diagnosed, the sooner treatment and growth can begin.
Clackamas & Oregon Pediatrics is a certified Medical Home with integrated Behavioral Health providers at ever site. Utilizing behavioral health services from within your pediatric team means continuity of care will be maintained, providing more opportunities to develop a plan and work towards goals.
Convenience and time savings
Striving for continuity of care will make your child’s examinations much more efficient. Meeting with the same pediatrician or going to the same pediatric office causes less stress in your life. You’ll know exactly where to go every time and the medical team knows you. This will avoid extra paperwork and make your child’s appointments go faster.
Central point of contact
Raising children is exhausting! Knowing who to call (and who you’re talking to on the other line) will take a lot of stress off your shoulders and is one less thing for you to worry about.Going to the same pediatrician office every time provides you with a central point of contact for any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child’s health.
Fewer emergency department trips
Studies show that having a pediatric office for your child can save you money in unnecessary trips to the emergency room. If your child is facing a non-emergent health concern—especially after hours—you’ll know who to call and won’t feel like your only option is an expensive emergency room visit.
What if my child needs a specialist?
There may be certain situations where your child requires a consultation or more in-depth care from a specialized provider. Is continuity of care still achievable? Yes!
Clackamas & Oregon Pediatrics partners with many major medical systems in the area. Quality and continuity of care is maintained when a referral is made to a specialist at any other organization.
Your primary care provider is the central hub for managing specialist care. Call your pediatric office first and ask to speak with a referral coordinator who will inform you of your options.
From there, your pediatrician can work closely with the specialist to ensure they’re both on the same page and can provide superior care for your child.
Get continuity of care for your child at Oregon Pediatrics
At Clackamas & Oregon Pediatrics, we’re proud to help families of the Portland Metro and surrounding areas achieve continuity of care for their children. For over 34 years, we’ve been providing high quality, comprehensive pediatric care.
With over 80 years of combined experience and specialists in areas like behavioral and developmental health, our doctors are committed to working with parents as a team to achieve the best health outcomes for their children.
Contact us at any one of our four pediatric office locations to learn more – we can’t wait to hear from you.