Pediatrics’ new paradigm for practice in the era of COVID-19

June 25, 2020

The great unknown caused by COVID-19 has led to many questions and few answers. The one certainty is that pediatrics will have to change in order to ensure proper care.

Warm greetings! It is hard to believe that summer is almost upon us.

Over the last 4 months, the spreading COVID-19 pandemic has made us rethink how we practice medicine in order to continue to provide outstanding comprehensive care to all our patients. This is especially important for our patients aged younger than 2 years for whom it is critically important that they receive their recommended vaccines on time and for medically complex patients who require close follow-up for the management of their conditions.

The pandemic has challenged us to be creative in the ways we evaluate patients and provide reassurance to their parents. In this issue of Contemporary Pediatrics, these are must-reads:

COVID-19: A battle plan for pediatricians—This article highlights some strategies that pediatric practitioners can incorporate into their practices to safely and effectively provide care to their patients.

CDC issues preliminary information on MIS-C—Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 was first described in the United Kingdom in late April 2020 and has since been reported in Spain, Italy, France, and the United States. This is a serious condition with some symptoms that overlap those seen in Kawasaki disease and/or toxic shock syndrome. Preliminary data indicate that many individuals who develop this syndrome have either COVID-19 infection or a history of exposure and that MIS-C may be a postinfectious inflammatory process. This article presents the CDC case definition of MIS-C and the need to report MIS-C to local, state, or territorial health departments.

Updated consensus guidelines issued for unexplained pediatric death—There is limited medical awareness of SUDC, which is the sudden and unexpected death of a child aged 12 months or older that remains unexplained after a thorough investigation including autopsy. This document provides comprehensive guidance for the pediatric practitioner on the investigation of the event and the important role that they play in serving as liaisons to help families maneuver through the processes that occur after the death.

Chronic care management: Increase the value of your practice—Fifteen to 25% of children in the United States have one or more chronic health conditions that require some level of chronic care management. This is an important Practice Improvement article that provides the information to properly code for the management of children with multiple chronic conditions and ensure proper reimbursement.

As we continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, remember that:

“No matter how hard things may seem, don’t get down and don’t give up. The clouds will clear and there are brighter days ahead.” —Anonymous

Please stay safe and well. I welcome your suggestions, comments, and questions.

With warmest regards,

Tina

Tina Q Tan, MD, Editor-in-Chief

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