Pediatric EMR

Why the need for a special Pediatric EMR module or program? The original EMR system was developed primarily for out-patient adult services. Since EMR is the wave of the future as deemed by the Federal Government, there became a necessity to include pediatric information.

The information previously lacking was:

  • Newborn Screening records
  • Immunization Records
  • Wellness Child Exams
  • Growth Records
  • Pediatric Narrative Templates
  • Pediatric Examination Templates (by age)
  • Pediatric SOAP Note Templates
  • Patient Pictures
  • Pediatric Image Management
  • Collection of Family Structure
    • Birth
    • Adoption
    • Step-Children
    • Child-Abuse
    • Foster Children
  • Genetic Information Collection
  • Newer Family Identification Methods, indexing the family together

Although every EMR system contains templates, the earlier versions did not include an easy way to accept the additional information relating to pediatric care. Physicians and caregivers simply did not have the time to design their own database structure and care for patients at the same time.
With the newer enhanced systems, Pediatric EMR has become a reality and “paper-less” offices are becoming a standard way of practice. From scanners to hospital networking, the physician can now retrieve 98% of a patient’s information:

  • Lab Tests and Results
  • Radiology Tests and Results
  • Cardiology Tests and Results
  • Dictated Reports

And much more…

How is all this possible? Hospitals and medical facilities are storing all this data. As they strive for a consistent Master Patient Index (MPI) repository, this data can be gathered from disparate systems and stored in a central location. Most facilities and medical systems are capable of sending HL7 (Health Level 7) messages. This is a real-time connection between systems that keeps data current across all applications and available immediately to be viewed by an authorized person.

So now, a pediatrician with a Pediatric EMR equipped solution, can have data fed to their “stand-alone” application at their local office. Although, this arrangement needs to be authorized by the medical facility, which brings up another issue – HIPPA!

Medical Billing services are now offering EMR as an add-on to the services they provide along with scheduling, billing, collection, and all the back-office services. Primarily physicians of a medium to large group can benefit from such a service.

There’s multiple solutions depending on the needs of the physician and the amount of staff to support the infrastructure. Favorably, this segment has grown in regards to the quantity of EMR vendors and their capabilities.

Soon will be the day when you walk into a doctor’s office and no longer see rows and rows of manila folders (charts). Instead, you will see them viewing Pediatric EMR information from a touch-screen computer in the patient room.

Signs of Hearing Problems in Toddlers and When to Visit a Pediatric Audiologist

Hearing is a critical tool for children as they learn, play, and develop. Some children are born with hearing impairments, while others may develop hearing loss over time. Unfortunately, even mild hearing loss can affect the way that a child speaks, hears, and understands language. Diagnosing a hearing problem in toddlers can be increasingly difficult, as they do not yet possess the skills to properly explain their symptoms. Here’s a look at some common signs of hearing loss in toddlers and when you should schedule a visit to a pediatric audiologist.

1. Does not respond to soft sounds

Toddlers with hearing loss may not respond when he hears soft sounds, such as a whisper or a low voice. When determining whether or not your child is hearing you or not, consider the environment. Is there excessive background noise or distractions? Also consider if your tot is “choosing” not to listen. Instead of asking whether or not your toddler can hear you, ask if he or she wants some ice cream.

2. Are they not startle when exposed to loud noises?

Most young kids will jump, cry, or in some way signify that they are startled when exposed to loud noises. If your toddler fails to react when a loud noise is present, it may be because he or she is unable to hear the noise or the noise is not as loud to him or her due to the hearing loss.

3. Cannot locate the source of sounds

Children usually have the natural ability to use their hearing to turn towards the source of a noise. If your tot hears a sound, he or she should turn their head in the general direction of that sound within seconds. If your toddler acts as if he or she didn’t hear the sound or looks around aimlessly, ensure of where the noise originated, some level of hearing loss may be present.

4. Only responds when facing you

Most toddlers have some communication skills, even if it’s a simple “yes” or “no,” or even a nod of the head up or down. Children with hearing loss may not respond to you when you speak unless he or she if facing towards you. You may also notice that your tot carefully watches the faces of people when speaking.

5. Displays symptoms of other health issues

If the hearing loss is caused by a cold, flu, sinus infection, or other health condition, other symptoms may point to hearing loss. Take note if your child pulls at his or her ears, presents with cold symptoms, suffers from chronic ear infections, or is unusually cranky.

If your toddler shows signs of hearing problems, it’s important to promptly schedule a visit with a pediatric audiologist for a full evaluation. A pediatric audiologist will run tests to determine whether or not your child is indeed experiencing hearing loss, and if so, to what degree. With a proper diagnosis, a treatment plan can then be created.

Imaging the Child – The Role of the Pediatric Radiologist

The practice of pediatric radiology in Utah is a growing field. These specialized doctors look at x-rays and images taken of children to determine if there is anything abnormal. For example, if a child is suffering from a terrible headache and his or her primary care doctor does not know what is causing these headaches, the doctor will send the child to an imaging center to have pictures taken of the child’s head. A pediatric radiologist will then scrutinize the images taken to see if they will reveal a cause of the child’s complaint.

Due to advances in technology, these doctors have the ability to practice their trade anywhere, from their home to a hospital. Many of these doctors choose to work from children’s hospitals where their patients can receive the specialized care that young children often require.

While at the children’s hospitals, these doctors do not practice in a typical setting filled with patients in beds. Instead, these practitioners work in a room filled with computer monitors. Images from around the hospital come into their computers allowing them to sit in one place and analyze image after image. These doctors then write a note of their findings so that the doctor in charge of the child’s care will know what the pediatric radiologist saw on the images.

Pediatric radiology is a subspecialty of both pediatrics and radiology. A doctor just out of medical school, wishing to pursue a career in this subspecialty could do his or her initial training, or residency, in pediatrics for three years and then pursue a fellowship, or specialized training, in radiology after the residency. Alternatively, doctors can take a residency in radiology initially and then specialize further in pediatrics later on.

Since the patient population of these practitioners is young, special considerations are often required in order to get proper images. Many of the new imaging techniques used can be scary for children, including MRI machines and CT scans. This equipment also requires the child to remain still for long periods of time so that the images obtained will be clear. Hospitals have come up with a variety of techniques to calm frightened children who are about to undergo such procedures. Many hospitals have brightly colored murals on the walls to stimulate the children. Additionally, rooms can contain toys and video games to keep the child entertained before the imaging scan.

During the actual image accrual process, a child must remain completely still. To achieve this state, sometimes the parents are utilized to calm the child. If that is not effective or if the child is in a great deal of pain and unable to remain still, sedation is occasionally used.

Pediatric Dental Care for Your Kid’s Teeth

Why is the care for my child’s teeth important?

Good pediatric dental care habits should begin before your child’s first tooth arrives. Gently wiping your child’s gums with a soft damp cloth after feedings can helps to prevent the buildup of bacteria. The use of a soft children’s toothbrush twice a day after your child’s first teeth arrive is recommended

When your child is preschool-age, you may want to start using fluoride toothpaste. Don’t cover the brush with toothpaste; a small amount is enough. Your child may tend to swallow most of the toothpaste. Swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can cause staining on their teeth.

Children’s cavities?

Cavities are holes that are formed when bacteria forms in your mouth. Bacteria uses the sugar in food to make acid. This acid erodes away at the teeth. Cavities are very common in children and the recommended tooth care can keep cavities from happening.

Your child may get cavities if he or she eats a lot of sugar based foods and drinks a lot of sweet drinks (fruit juice and punch, soda and sweetened drinks). Some children may have a higher tendency for cavities if they have the following risk factors:

• Has low birth rate or born prematurely.

• Teeth contain brown areas or white spots over time.

• Does not have regular checkups with their pediatric dentist. Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day and your child should see the pediatric dentist twice a year.

Have your dentist show you the right way to brush your child’s teeth.

Diet and the possible affect on your child’s teeth

Obviously, avoiding sweets and between-meal snacks is good advice. Avoiding potential cavities may be avoided by limiting sweet snacks and drinks between meals. Having meals and snacks at regular times is advised. Snacks, such as, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cheese and crackers also can help in the dental care for your child.

It has been noted that some baby bottles can create additional problems with your child’s dental health. When liquid from a bottle is in contact with the child’s teeth for a long time, the sugars may cause tooth decay. The baby’s teeth can develop cavities and become discolored. It is also advised, not to put a baby to bed with a bottle or walk around during the day with a bottle. You may want to teach your child to use a drinking cup as soon as it is acceptable.

Your child’ teeth and thumb-sucking

Sucking the thumb, fingers or a pacifier is common. It may be good to inquire of your pediatric dentist as to the individual child’s development regarding the teeth and their natural progress. This is typically not a problem so long as it is not prolonged. Again, this can be answered by your pediatric dentist at your child’s regular dental care checkup.