Please review this important information for guidance for patients that have been tested for COVID-19. Pennsylvania Dept of Health COVID-19 Testing Guidance
It is with mixed emotions, but warm wishes, that we announce the retirement of Dr. Janis Halpern from Margiotti & Kroll Pediatrics. Dr. Halpern has been a valued member of our medical staff since acquiring Langhorne Pediatrics in 2013. Dr. Halpern has been a practicing pediatrician in the Bucks County area for over 36 years and has cared for thousands of patients along with many second-generation patients. We are so grateful for her years of dedicated service and wish her a happy and healthy retirement!
Below is a letter from Dr. Halpern to her patients:
May 6th, 2020
Yesterday I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I decided to retire. If the present circumstances were different, I would have preferred to say goodbye to all of my patients in person. While I’m fortunate to have remained very healthy throughout these difficult times, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to focus on spending more time with my family.
I am so grateful to each of you for allowing me to take care of your children over the past 36 years. I will always cherish the wonderful personal connections that I have made. I look forward to running into many of you in the community for years to come.
I know you will continue to receive excellent medical care from my colleagues at Margiotti and Kroll Pediatrics.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
As you may have seen, outpatient laboratories have recently started offering both antibody (also referred to as serology) and at home nasal swab testing for COVID-19. While we understand the importance of access to RELIABLE testing to make informed decisions about you and your child’s health, these options are concerning to our providers.
Since testing became available in the healthcare setting, we’ve been performing the (nasopharyngeal) swab testing at our office on patients for whom it was appropriate to test. We plan to continue this practice throughout the remainder of this pandemic or until a better test is available to assist in the diagnosis of an active COVID-19 infection.
Antibody testing became available in outpatient healthcare facilities this past week, including in our offices. This test can be helpful in determining the presence of certain antibodies. It is important to note that a positive test of these antibodies MAY indicate prior exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, we are still unsure if the presence of these antibodies indicates immunity to COVID-19 in the future.
Given all of this information, it is critical that you continue to rely on trusted information sources, in collaboration with our team of medical professionals, to determine the best course of action for your children relative to testing for COVID-19. If you have questions about testing your children, please call our office so our providers can discuss these options with you individually. If your child does need to be tested, we will schedule an appointment in our office for the procedure.
Thank you for continuing to trust in our medical home for your children, especially in these difficult times!
WELL VISIT SCHEDULING –
In line with the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) regarding the importance of continuing well-child care during the current pandemic, we have reserved ALL appointments in our Newtown Office and the 1st Floor of our Trevose Office for well-child visits only.
In our Valley Square, Northeast, and St. Mary Offices we will continue to see only well-child visits in the afternoon once all of the offices have been fully sanitized from the morning appointments.
PRE-VISIT SCREENING & CHECK-IN –
Upon arriving for any appointment in our office, please call the office at 215-491-5222 or any of our main office numbers. All patients and visitors to our offices will continue to be screened by phone and check-in from their car upon their arrival.
When directed to enter the office, all patients and visitors will have their temperature taken to ensure that it is safe to enter the offices where well children are being seen. Please note that anyone with a fever will not be permitted to enter the well visit offices under this temporary restriction.
WALK-IN HOURS –
In order to accommodate only well-child appointments, walk-in hours in our Newtown Office have been suspended until further notice. Walk-In appointments are still available in all other offices as normally scheduled; however, please remember to call our office from your car upon arrival to check-in. Please DO NOT enter the office without calling first.
As a reminder, telemedicine appointments are now available with our Providers! If you would like to have your child seen via telemedicine, please contact our office to set up an appointment today! There is no need to pre-register for this service, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with the link to see our Providers upon scheduling. Appointments require a smart device or computer with a video camera and microphone.
Thank you all for continuing to place your trust in our Practice to care for your children during these difficult times!
March 18th, 2020
We are reaching out today to provide additional updates on the actions taken by our Practice during this challenging COIVD-19 situation.
Our doctors are continuing to stay up to date on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). We are doing everything possible to ensure that we are able to continue caring for our patients throughout the remainder of this pandemic. As we have announced previously, it has been necessary to make certain operational adjustments in our offices to ensure the continued safety of our patients and staff. We want to thank all of our patients for their continued understanding and flexibility with these adjustments!
In a continued effort to care for all of our patients, while also doing our part to stop the spread of this virus, we have made some additions to our previous list of modifications:
– COMING TO OUR OFFICE – PLEASE DO NOT enter any of our offices without calling first if you have concerns related to COVID-19, have a known (or likely) exposure, OR if you have symptoms consistent with the virus (i.e. fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). This includes not utilizing our walk-in hours for any of these circumstances.
– PHONE CALLS – We continue to screen all patient calls for potential risk exposure to COVID-19 to ensure that patients with a known (or likely) exposure are not coming into the office without the appropriate precautions.
– WELL VISITS – It is important to remember that timely well child care is a cornerstone of keeping our children healthy. Even throughout times of widespread disease or illness, it is vital to limit a child’s risk by remaining up to date on all preventive care. To ensure that we can continue to provide these services without interruption, we have modified our well visit schedules to limit these appointments to the afternoon only. During these times there will be no scheduled sick appointments in our offices. Further, in order to ensure that our offices remain safe for your children, our offices are being thoroughly disinfected multiple times daily.
– OUR STAFF – We have an extremely dedicated group of providers and staff members who remain committed to your child’s health throughout this pandemic. We are taking every necessary precaution to ensure that our staff remain able to continue to provide care. Each staff member has their temperature taken and is screened prior to the start of their shift to ensure that they are not at higher risk of spreading the virus.
– VISITORS – Throughout the remainder of this pandemic, we are limiting the number of people who can accompany a patient during their visit to one parent/guardian. We recognize that in certain circumstances it may be necessary to bring siblings with you to facilitate a visit; however, if there are any alternative arrangements that can be made to avoid this, please do so.
– TELEMEDICINE – In an effort to continue providing all of our patients access to your trusted health care providers, Margiotti & Kroll Pediatrics will begin to offer telemedicine services on Monday, March 23rd. It is our hope that this service offering will provide patients who otherwise could come in to one of our offices the ability to consult with our providers via a secure platform. While a telemedicine visit is not a replacement for an in-office (face to face) appointment with our providers, we hope this technology will allow us to address certain focused concerns for our patients during these difficult times. Examples of some appointment reasons that may be appropriate for telemedicine visits are:
o Evaluation for COVID-19 related concerns;
o Routine ADD/ADHD medication checks;
o Cold symptoms with NO respiratory difficulty or fever;
o Pink eye with NO fever;
o Allergy symptoms;
o Localized rashes;
o Vomiting and/or diarrhea with NO constant and/or severe pain;
o Feeding difficulties.
PLEASE NOTE: Our Practice has always made sure that all decisions related to medical care were done in the best interest of our patients. Beginning a telemedicine offering will not change this commitment. Our providers will not compromise their standard of excellent medical care during these challenging times. We feel strongly that the risk of compromising our medical care poses a much higher risk to our patients than that of a poor outcome from contracting COVID-19. That said, despite our best efforts to address a patient’s concern via telemedicine, there may be instances where our providers are not able to fully resolve an issue. In these circumstances, we will explain why an in-person visit is necessary to address the patient’s complaint appropriately.
– MEDICAL HOME – Please continue to remember that Margiotti & Kroll Pediatrics is your medical home, especially in times like these! It is important not to go to the emergency department or urgent care center without calling our office first! We are your doctors and we want to make sure you are getting the most appropriate care while also not overwhelming our local resources.
– TRUSTED INFORMATION – We recognize that there is a lot of information available regarding COVID-19. Please be sure to utilize trusted information sources for your information such as the CDC, AAP, and your local health departments.
Quality patient care is and will continue to be our top priority as we continue to navigate these difficult times. We sincerely appreciate the privilege of being your trusted provider of care to your child(ren) and we thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation and flexibility.
Please read the following information regarding the current situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The most recent school closure in our area, due to a potential exposure to COVID-19, has likely increased your concern for your own child’s risk to this virus. It is important to remember some helpful information to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
Coronavirus is transmitted the same as influenza and other viruses and can be eliminated with good cleaning and personal hygiene practices. Some tips from the CDC to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as coronavirus, include:
1) Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow, not your hands;
2) Wash your hands often with soap and water. (An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is acceptable if soap and water are not available.);
3) Disinfect ‘high traffic’ surfaces regularly (i.e. countertops, door handles, light switches, mobile devices, etc.);
4) Stay home from school, work, and out of the general public when you are sick. Children should not return to school/daycare until they have been fever-free (without use of medications) for 24 hours in order to protect the other children in the class;
5) Avoid close contact with others who are sick.
As always, our practice remains ready to see any patient in need of care. When calling our office, please keep in mind that at this time there is no in-office testing available for COVID-19. Testing is only available through the Pennsylvania Dept of Health and is not indicated unless a patient is suspected to have COVID-19.
Treatment for COVID-19 is supportive care, similar to that of other viral illnesses. Use of Tylenol and Motrin and cool-mist humidifiers are recommended. It is important to drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest when sick. The greatest risk that COVID-19 poses is to the elderly and those with a weakened immune system.
We know that there has been a lot of information communicated in recent weeks regarding COVID-19. Unfortunately, this constant media coverage regarding COVID-19 has led to a great deal of fear and panic. While it is important to stay informed, you should be sure to use trusted information sources such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for updates.
Lastly, cases of influenza are far more prevalent worldwide than those of the coronavirus. If you haven’t already gotten your flu shot this season, it is not too late!
The Northeast Office will be closed on Friday 11/15 and Saturday 11/16 to accommodate the re-paving of the medical complex. Please note that the providers and staff from this office will be seeing patients in our Trevose office during the construction. Please call our office with any questions or to schedule an appointment. 215-331-5800 Thank you for your understanding!