What is a Medical Home and how does it relate to my child’s care?

Medical Home - Emergency vs. Urgent Care vs. Pediatrician

By Abbie Engelhardt, R.N. for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group

Some of you are probably thinking, what in the world is a Medical Home? Well, let me explain.

A Medical Home is all about you and your child. It’s a team approach, combined with information technology, to create an accountable “continuity of high quality care”. In other words, to make sure that patients don’t fall through the cracks. At Lee’s Summit Physicians Group, our primary focus is to provide comprehensive, personalized care to our patients and families in a compassionate and welcoming environment.

A Medical Home means that your pediatric team –

  • Knows the health history of your child. (Family, life situation and health goals.)
  • Keeps your child’s complete medical history in one place.
  • Takes care of any short-term illness, long-term chronic illness, and your child’s all-around well-being.
  • Follows up with any other health care providers your child receives care from, when necessary.
  • Works in partnership with you to make sure that the medical and non-medical needs of your child and family are met.
  • Creates a trusting, collaborative relationship with you and your child.
  • Treats your child with compassion and an understanding of his/her strengths.
  • Develops a plan of care with you and your child when needed.
  • Notify you of test results in a timely manner.
  • Respects and honors your culture and traditions.
  • Help make the best decisions for your child’s care.

What is your job as a parent?

  • Know that you are a full partner with us in your children’s care.
  • Come to each visit with any updates on medications, supplements, or remedies you are using, and with any questions you may have.
  • Remember to tell your pediatric team about any care received between visits (emergency room, urgent care clinics, specialists).
  • Keeps scheduled appointments or call to reschedule or cancel as early as possible.
  • Understand your children’s health conditions and what you can do to stay as healthy as possible.
  • Work with us to develop and follow a plan that is best for your children’s health. Let us know of any obstacles to the plan.
  • Give medication as prescribed.
  • Learn about your health insurance coverage.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Is it okay to go outside of your primary Medical Home?

Yes, however, you should always start at Home (for example, Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.) When your child is sick or hurt, it can be difficult to tell whether an urgent care or emergency department is the best choice. In making that decision, it’s important to stay calm and recognize the difference between a medical emergency and a medical situation where a different type of care is more appropriate.

Remember… for non-emergency situations, first call your child’s pediatrician. We have phone nurses available Monday through Friday 8am to 4:30pm. After hours calls are available with a small fee. Many insurance companies provide phone nurses as well. We have urgent care hours 7 days a week.

If you believe the injury or illness is life threatening or may have caused permanent harm, go to the emergency room or call an ambulance. If your child is seriously ill or injured, it is safer for your child to be transported by an ambulance.

Who are we? We are your pediatric Medical Home!

Our pediatric department is open 7 days a week. Lee’s Summit, Raintree and Blue Springs offices all have urgent care hours Monday through Thursday 8am-6pm and Fridays 8am-11pm.  On weekends, only the Lee’s Summit office is open and the hours are 8-11 on Saturday and Sunday.

Medical Home Frequently asked questions:

What does a Medical Home eliminate?
Unnecessary ER visits, missed immunizations/labs, doctor hopping, expensive co-pays, unnecessary costs, duplicate testing (labs, imaging).

My child may need an x-ray, can you do that in your office?
No, but we can evaluate the child and if an x-ray is necessary, we will send an order to Children’s Mercy or Diagnostic Imaging. You don’t need to go to an urgent care that has x-ray services.

Is it okay to go to Children’s Mercy urgent care?
Yes, especially if it is after hours here and can’t wait until the next day during our urgent care hours. If it can wait, you can wait to bring them to their Medical Home.

Does my child really need a Well child check every year even though they don’t need immunizations?
Yes, it is important to monitor their growth and development. Prevention is key to raising a healthy child.

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