Urgent Care Centers for Kids - Raising Healthy Kids

March 19, 2014 CHOP's Specialty Care offices in King of Prussia and Mays Landing, New Jersey operate nights and weekends, when the pediatrician's office is closed, and the problem isn't serious enough for an emergency room.

Dr. Magna Chang Dias says the staff can handle ear aches, cuts, sore throats and even sports injuries.

"We can get you an x-ray, an evaluation, a splint if needed, and get you home in time for dinner, because we also know that parents have other children they they need to take care of," she said.

In addition to full x-ray capabilities, the urgent care centers can do lab tests, stitches, intravenous fluids, and more. Dr. Chang Dias says parents want fast, convenient care for kids from infants to teens. But CHOP doctors didn't think general urgent care centers offered that.

"They were not set up to take care of children. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a statement against retail-based clinics," Dr. Chang Dias said.

When kids get treatment at the urgent care center, doctors and nurses always keep the regular pediatrician in the information loop.

"We will send a fax out with our complete note the same day. And if it's something that is warranted, we'll actually call the pediatrician and speak to them," said Dr. Chang Dias.

CHOP hasn't said whether it plans to open more after-hours centers. Locally, St. Christopher's Hospital operates an urgent care center at its satellite offices in Abington and Allentown. And earlier this month, Shriners Hospital Philadelphia opened an orthopedic urgent care center. Nationwide, other pediatric networks are also investing in them. And as the demand for more lower-cost outpatient care continues, we could see more of these types of clinics.

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