By The Queen’s Medical Center-West O`ahu
When children get sick or hurt, they may not always be able to see their primary care doctor promptly. While calling 911 or going to the nearest Emergency Department is necessary for life-threatening conditions, an After Hours Center can provide quality health care for less serious health issues, or problems that can get worse if one waits.
Families living in West O`ahu now have access to the Pediatric After Hours Center at The Queen’s Medical Center-West O`ahu in `Ewa Beach. The center treats children’s minor injuries and illnesses after their doctors’ regular business hours. Newborns to age 17 are welcome.
Located in the Physicians Office Building on the hospital’s campus, the center is conveniently open weeknights from 5 to 10 pm, and weekends and holidays from 12 to 8 pm. In addition to an experienced pediatric team of providers, the center has on-site x-ray, ultrasound and lab services available, allowing for centralized care.
“We want to support our West O`ahu families and partner with primary care doctors in the area by providing this valuable service,” said Kristin Fernandez, MD, medical director of pediatrics for The Queen’s Medical Center-West O`ahu and lead physician for the Pediatric After Hours Center. Dr. Fernandez has 14 years of experience in pediatrics and internal medicine.
“West O`ahu parents are sometimes in a bind. For example, when they first discover their child is sick after returning home from a long commute from work in the evening, or when they know their child needs medical attention soon, but they can’t easily take off work the following day,” said Dr. Fernandez. “Parents can trust us to evaluate and treat their children when their primary doctor isn’t available, and to contact their doctor about the visit to provide continuity.”
“We know the value of primary care doctors in our community and understand that care with planned follow-up is safer,” said Dr. Fernandez. That is why the mission of the Pediatric After Hours Center providers is to communicate with the child’s primary care doctor about the nature of the visit and plan of care, as well as ensure that the child sees his or her regular doctor for primary care needs, such as annual physicals.
Patients who visit an Emergency Department may experience a lengthier wait than others depending on the severity of their condition. The Queen’s Medical Center-West O`ahu is home to the second busiest Emergency Department in the state with more than 52,000 visits in the fiscal year 2016. Twenty-seven percent of patients come to the Emergency Department at Queen’s-
West O`ahu with non-life threatening conditions, and of this group, 45 percent are pediatric patients. When parents opt to utilize facilities like an After Hours Center in lieu of an Emergency Department for their children’s minor conditions, it results in more efficient care. It allows Emergency Department staff to take care of sicker patients, saves health care costs and reduces Emergency Department wait times.
Over the past two years, The Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu has evolved to offer an array of services tailored to the growing community. By 2030, 50 percent of O`ahu’s overall population will live out west. West O`ahu also has a high percentage of young families who will benefit from additional pediatric care close to home.
“As the need for pediatric services increases, we are committed to developing services to keep pace with our community,” said Susan Murray, senior vice president and chief operating officer for The Queen’s Medical Center-West O`ahu. “Offering child-focused care to support our community physicians’ practices is a natural progression for us as we continue to extend Queen’s quality care for West O`ahu families, and there’s more to come.”
Plans to expand the center to treat adults are set for mid-2017. Learn more about the Pediatric After Hours Center at Queen’s-West O`ahu.
If you have an immediate health concern about your child after his or her doctor’s hours:
- Contact your child’s primary care doctor first through the office’s phone service. If the matter cannot be resolved on the phone, or cannot wait to be addressed at an office appointment, discuss other alternatives of prompt evaluation. An After Hours Center or Urgent Care Center can be good options.
- Go to the appropriate health care facility. Look for one that is experienced in treating children. If the condition is serious, head to the nearest Emergency Department or call 911 for an ambulance.
- After the visit, be sure to follow up with your child’s doctor.