EPIC ON!

On June 1st (this Saturday!) we will be switching over to an electronic medical record (EMR).  The specific EMR that we chose is called Epic.  This is the same software Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin started to use system wide in November.  Our system and their system will be linked and will share information.

Please remember, anytime there is change, there are always some “growing pains” that come along with it.  I like to say, it’s a little like having a baby…. There’s a lot of anticipation, and then when the baby comes, no matter how ready you are, there is still a pretty steep learning curve.  Well, Epic is our baby right now and we’ve put a lot of time into getting ready for it, but there’s nothing like the real thing.  So we ask that you try to be as understanding as possible if we are going a little slower and your visit is taking a little longer.  It won’t be that way forever.  In fact, prior to coming to Forest View, I worked at a hospital that went from paper charts to Epic, so I can tell you that it does get faster and ultimately better.  Because that’s our real goal; to get better!  So even though there are going to be a few downsides, here are the upsides to you as a patient in the end.

1.) Shared notes withing the Children’s System means whether you are in the ER, a specialist office, or our office, we can pull up the exact note, the exact medication, or the exact x-ray you had done.  If you are outside of the system, we can print those things for you to take with you.

2.) There is an After Visit Summary (you may hear someone at the office mention an AVS) that will go out with you that will explain your diagnosis and medications.

3.) MyChart is a function that won’t be 100% when we start, as we are learning the rest of system, but down the road we see it as a great way to communicate with patients for scheduling, seeing labs, medication refills, and short notes to each other.

4.) Electronic prescribing means your prescription goes right to the pharmacy.  This does not quite mean it will be instantaneous, though.  Just like phoned in prescriptions, different pharmacies check their electronic prescriptions at different times.

5.) Other cool tools; like electronic growth charts, being able to see a graph of certain labs, immunizations linked directly to the Wisconsin Immunization Registry, and quick refills.

We’re excited to be taking this next leap forward in medicine along with the rest of Children’s system!  Thank you all in advance for being patient and understanding!

 

 ~Paul Veldhouse, MD; Forest View Pediatrics


Paul Veldhouse, MD

 

Flu Season is Upon Us!

Some of you may have seen our E-blast letting everyone know that we are now seeing some of our first cases of influenza at Forest View.  According to flu reporting from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this looks to be one of the earliest flu seasons in about a decade.  Last year was a very mild flu season, but this year looks to be significantly worse.

Quick review:  Influenza is NOT the stomach flu.  It is a respiratory illness that can cause very high and prolonged fevers, cough, and runny nose.  It is especially dangerous because it can make you more susceptible to secondary bacterial pneumonias that can require hospitalization, or in severe cases, even cause death.  This early into the flu season, there have already been 5 pediatric deaths, and during the H1N1 flu season a few years ago, there were 281 flu associated pediatric deaths.  It is one of the most deadly common viruses around, especially for those who are unvaccinated.  There are certain high risk groups (although it is recommended that everyone get vaccinated) which include anyone 6 months to 4 years old, anyone with asthma, diabetes, or another chronic medical condition, or anyone who spends frequent time around either of these groups and infants under 6 months.

Fortunately, in the samples the CDC has tested, the vaccine appears to be about a 90% match so far, which is a pretty good match.  The vaccine does not always match, as the vaccine components are a very well-educated guess every year as to what strains we will see in the US (over 100 labs reporting to the World Health Organization who makes the recommendation to our FDA annually).  The flu season tends to peak around January and February typically, however, the vaccine can take up to two weeks to produce antibodies, so now is the time to come get it.  About the only real group unable to get a vaccine, are those that have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past.  Patients with egg allergy (unless particularly severe) can still get the flu vaccine, so please call if you have questions about how to get it done safely.

We have vaccine available at Forest View, so please call and make your appointment to get vaccinated.  If you have any questions, we’ll happily provide the answers.  Please click here to see our flu information page.

Thanks and cover your cough!

 

 ~Paul Veldhouse, MD; Forest View Pediatrics


Paul Veldhouse, MD

Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Both?

When my children have a fever, I usually head to the medicine cabinet to see what I can do. Fever itself isn’t dangerous. There is even some literature that shows it can help kids fight off infection. Unfortunately, fevers sure do make them cranky. Remember, at times, it is OK to not “treat” a fever. Even if you do give your child a fever reducer, occasionally the fever may not come back to “normal”- and that’s OK. Really, all you are trying to do is to keep your child as comfortable as possible until the illness goes away.

Once you’ve decided your child needs something to feel better, what should you choose? There are lots of formulations of acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and ibuprofen (e.g. Advil) out …Continue reading →

New Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Guidelines

The fear of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome lurks in the subconscious of every parent after they have a baby. Thanks to the “Back to Sleep” campaign initiated in 1994, SIDS deaths have been reduced by over 50 percent.

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics expanded its guidelines to further increase sleep safety. With the birth of my third son, this was a great reminder for me to examine his …Continue reading →

Fight the flu: Flu season is under way

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began seeing some cases of the flu in late October. Right now, the flu still is uncommon, and we’d like to keep it that way!

When flu tests were positive, about 10-15 percent were H1N1 and the rest largely were seasonal influenza A with some influenza B. The majority of flu types are the ones covered …Continue reading →

Back to school: The big yellow bus

With school now in full swing, it’s a good time to review some safety tips with your kids about that big yellow school bus:

  • If your child is riding the bus, it’s good to show up 5-10 minutes early.
  • Remember, it’s NEVER safe to run after the bus.
  • Stand five giant steps from the curb (10 feet) and in plain view of the driver.
  • Remind your kids that if they can’t see the driver, then the driver also can’t see …Continue reading →

Send your kids back to school safely

Your kids are back in school, and hopefully by now they’ve gotten through the stress of a new routine, school, teachers or friends. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published helpful back-to-school tips, including some great safety reminders about backpacks.

Backpacks can sometimes be too heavy or worn incorrectly, leading to strained muscles and back pain in kids. Backpacks are considered better than over-the-shoulder, “messenger-style” …Continue reading →