We Are Here For YouOur front office receives a lot of phone calls each day and we all
try to be responsive to your questions or concerns while trying to minimize
disruptions in our workflow. Soon, we hope to address online most of
your non-urgent questions, refill requests and appointment requests
so we can prioritize more urgent calls accordingly.
A Note on After-Hours Calls
We welcome your after-hours calls because we know the anxiety of having
a sick child. We also want you to avoid the ER when it is not necessary.
We offer this as a free service but please be aware that we are charged
a fee by the answering service and by the Nurse Line everytime a call
is made, so please make sure you provide a reliable phone number and
an alternate contact number. If possible, disable any call blocking,
and enable and listen to your voice mail if you miss our return call.
Please call during regular office hours for prescription refills
and other non-urgent questions.
Here are some some tips to make the most of phone calls and e-mails:
- Avoid peak hours. Early mornings (8:30-9:30)
and after school (3:00-5:00) are the busiest times for phone calls
while Monday is the busiest day. Avoid these times when the nature
of your call is not urgent so you’ll have better success in getting
through and your message won’t be moved down the line by later messages.
- Emergencies. Please call 911 for life-threatening
emergencies and Poison Control 1-800-222-1222 for accidental ingestions.
- Sick child calls. If your child is
sick but you are not sure that it warrants an appointment, ask the
receptionist if a doctor or nurse is available. If not, you may leave
a message that is specific about the nature of the illness, what you
have tried so far, how long the illness has been going on and if it
is getting worse. Please provide a reliable means of contacting you
(cell phone and landline). A nurse or doctor, preferably the one who
is most familiar with your child, should be able to call within an
hour. Have pen and paper ready so you won’t rely on memory for instructions
for at-home treatment. Sometimes, you may be advised to make an appointment
for an office visit.
- After hours. Just like during regular
office hours, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room
if you believe that your child has a life-threatening emergency. Call
Poison Control (800-000-0000) for any accidental ingestions. For other
urgent needs, call our office number (706-216-2771) and the answering
service will page the practitioner. To get the best response, ask
for the practitioner who saw your child most recently for the current
illness. Ask for the one who is most familiar with your child if the
call is regarding an illness that has not been addressed by anybody
else. Please call again if you do not get any response within 30 minutes.
Sometimes, the message doesn’t get through or the doctor is not able
to call immediately. After 11:00 PM, the calls are routed to the Nurse
Line of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a team of dedicated triage
nurses well-trained to handle these kinds of calls. If, however, the
nurse feels it is in your child’s best interest, she may direct you
to the ER or send the call back to the appropriate doctor.
- Prescription refill calls. There are
several ways of requesting prescription refills (calling your pharmacy
is preferred, or by phone or e-mail). Please allow at least 24 hours
for refills — so plan ahead so you don’t run out of medicines. With
rare exceptions, we do not refill prescriptions we did not prescribe
or are not familiar with, for patients that we have never seen or
for patients that we have not seen within the past year.
- Non-urgent advice calls or e-mails.
We encourage you to e-mail non-urgent questions or concerns that we
can address during our down time. Allow 24-48 hours for us to respond.
We also encourage you to write down any questions you may want to
bring up for the next scheduled office visit and e-mail us so we can
be as ready with the answers as much as possible. Please do not use
e-mail for urgent concerns. It is not intended to replace or avoid
an office visit that may be necessary. Also, try to get as much information
from our health information pages when possible.
- Write down or e-mail questions. If
you have questions that can wait until the next visit, please write
them down and bring with you or you may e-mail us so we can try to
prepare with a solution if available.