Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pediatric Groups Extending Office Hours

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pediatric Groups Extending Office Hours

Article excerpt

Every parent has been there -- a high fever hits in the wee hours of Sunday morning, a worrisome rash flares at bedtime or a wrist swells quickly after a family football game on Thanksgiving.

These scenarios force most parents into internal debate and amateur diagnosis: Is the situation serious enough to go to the emergency room? Would a 24-hour clinic be OK? Can it wait for my pediatrician? When they decide urgent care isn't necessary, many parents watch the clock until 9 a.m. the next day, when they can get through to the pediatrician's office.

Tenafly's Robin Labb no longer goes through the stomach-turning ritual. Her two children are patients at Riverside Pediatrics, which has eight North Jersey locations including an office in Secaucus that is open 8 a.m. to midnight, 365 days a year.

"It's nice to know you don't have to run to the emergency room," says Labb, who moved her kids to Riverside a few years ago. "You can call your doctor and you know one of them is going to be there."

Labb normally takes them to the Hackensack office, but in emergencies, she has used the Secaucus office.

Riverside has kept this schedule for more than five years, according to pediatrician Omar Baker. They were ahead of the curve on what is becoming a trend. More and more North Jersey pediatric practices are adding office hours -- albeit not as extensive as Riverside -- and other ways to access doctors as well.

"The pediatric community as a whole is really moving toward this," Dr. Bill Basco, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Pediatric Work Force, says of extended evening hours, seven-day-a-week availability and overall better doctor access.

Basco offers three reasons for offices staying open late, offering Sunday appointments and phone or electronic access: Patient expectation in a world of 24/7 access to everything; physicians wanting to keep patients out of clinics and emergency rooms; and incentives from insurance companies if a practice creates a "medical home. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.