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Coronavirus Referring Provider Update

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COVID-19 Pandemic: Akron Children’s update and resources for referring providers

Akron Children's Hospital is managing the COVID-19 pandemic through our disaster management structure and working diligently on preparedness planning with our regional hospital partners and local, state and federal officials.

As valued members of our referring provider community, please find information on this page about the rapidly changing situation and how it is affecting our operations, patients and you. 

Consistent with CDC and ODH, we are working to reducing in-person care visits not deemed to be essential in all practices. But we remain committed to meeting the urgent, emergent and behavioral health needs of your patients until full operations can resume.

Patient care and visitation changes:

  • Primary Care - offices are rescheduling well visits for children older than 30 months.
  • Specialty Care Many subspecialty departments are offering telehealth visits for existing and new patients. Physicians are reviewing cases to determine if a virtual visit is appropriate. Refer patients as always by calling/faxing departments numbers in Quick Scan or here.
  • Surgery - All elective surgeries have been temporarily canceled.
  • Dental Clinic - Office is closed except for emergencies.
  • Radiology - Open for essential services. Staff is assessing which procedures are essential and contacting ordering providers about any decisions regarding postponement.
    • NEW! Radiology services in Boston Heights will be closed until further notice starting April 6.
    • NEW! Radiology hours in Mansfield and Warren will be reduced starting April 6 to match Urgent Care hours.
  • Outpatient lab - Services at our North Canton, Boston Heights and Mansfield Health Centers are temporarily closing. Our Akron/Beeghly campuses and the Warren Health Center labs are open. Find alternate lab options in the affected areas here
  • Rehabilitative Services -  Services are temporarily closed at our Warren, Medina, New Philadelphia and Massillon locations.  Find open locations here.
  • Aultman and St. Joseph Warren Hospitals pediatric inpatient units – Our 5-bed Warren unit and 27-bed Aultman pediatric units will be closing soon until further notice. All patients will be admitted to our Akron and Beeghly campus hospitals.
    • Call the Comm Center for direct admissions or to arrange transport 800-221-5437
    • All of our regional NICUs and special care nurseries remain open.
  • NEW! Quick Care Boardman – These services for minor injury/illness were closed April 2 until further notice.
  • NEW! Urgent Care Changes:
    • Boston Heights and Montrose – Urgent care services will close April 6 until further notice.
    • Mansfield and Warren – Urgent care services will operate with reduced hours beginning April 6.

Find Urgent Care locations/hours here.

  • Hospital Visitation: 
    • Patients, visitors and staff being screened on arrival at all facilities.
    • Visitation limits are in place on the Akron and Beeghly campuses.

For patients in your practice with COVID-19 concerns:

  • Provider-Only Hotline: For referring providers only, we have a new phone number for physicians to call with specific questions on coronavirus. When you have a patient in your office and need immediate assistance, call: 
    • 330-543-2171 Calls from providers will be answered 7 days a week
    • Mon to Fri 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.; Sat 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Quick Care Online: The hospital has developed a centralized response to assess concerns about COVID-19 infection for patients. Our Quick Care Online telehealth service is available with trained pediatric providers who can evaluate patients with concerns about COVID-19 exposure and disease. If you are caring for a child with such concerns and wish to refer them, families can access the service via a mobile phone, tablet or computer with video capability. Children will be assessed by a pediatrician and care recommendations will be made. Families can access the service at quickcareonline.akronchildrens.org or can download the Akron Children’s Quick Care Online app on their Apple or Android devices.

For patients you would normally refer to our ED/other services:

  • If emergency care is warranted, please refer as you normally would.
  • If problems can be handled at a lower level of care, consider whatever measures you can to avoid ED or Urgent Care visits. Remind families there is no vaccine or treatment available, and testing at Akron Children’s facilities is limited per criteria described below. To avoid overburdening hospital resources, we are relying on primary care providers to treat mildly ill children and lesser acute cases.
  • For specialty referrals, please consider communicating directly with our specialists. They remain ready to help manage your patients.  when care is appropriate and are better prepared for patients who need their services. Many providers are offering telehealth visits where appropriate.
  • For lab and radiology, please consider ODH directives to practice physical distancing and remain at home as much as possible when determining a child’s need for these support services.

Akron Children’s criteria for COVID-19 Testing

Currently, Akron Children’s is only testing inpatients for COVID-19. Do not refer patients to Akron Children’s for COVID-19 testing alone. Our test availability is extremely limited. Broader testing remains a goal that is being pursued at all levels. Central testing options are being developed throughout our region but are not yet available. If you have other testing options available to you and your families, please use them. Our approach is limited by our current capacity and is not, in any way, a reflection on the value of testing broadly.

Suggested Guidelines for Pediatric Practices

In your own offices, if you haven’t already done so, consider these measures:

  • Provide separate pathways and waiting areas for those presenting with respiratory symptoms and those without.
  • Follow recommended screening guidelines.
  • Use over-the-phone and telehealth options when you can.
  • Limit non-essential visits as we have.
  • Keep abreast of PPE recommendations (gowns, gloves, masks and goggles) and maintain adequate supplies.
  • Keep yourself as up to date as possible, paying attention to local, state and national health authorities.

You Can Rely on our Services

As providers, you can continue to rely on us for these services during this unprecedented time:

  • Our clinics are all seeing patients who need to be seen urgently.
  • Our Akron and Beeghly campus EDs remain prepared to handle any emergency. See referral guidance above.
  • Our pharmacy and urgent/emergent radiology services remain in place.
  • The outpatient labs at our Akron campus, Beeghly campus and Warren Health Center are operating as usual. Our labs in Boston Heights, Mansfield and North Canton are temporarily closed.

We share with you the recognition of the importance of prioritizing the safety needs of patients, families and staff. We are all in this togetherand are committed to remaining a trusted partner in the care of your pediatric patients.

How can we help?

  • Check this site frequently for updates as the situation changes rapidly.
  • Our physician liaisons remain available as always to assist with information and concerns about our services.

COVID-19 resources for healthcare practices:

COVID-19 resources for families: