Friday, April 7, 2017

Urgent care/ After hours options 2017

Please see the updated post April 2018

After hours/Urgent care options
Murphy's Law generally seems to make certain that the fever spikes or the vomiting starts right at 5:01 pm when the average doctor's office turns their phones off. It is important to be familiar with your after hours/urgent care options.
Waiting until you or your child is ill is not the best time to start learning about what choices exist in your area. Does your insurance plan have a preferred option that won’t cost as much? Are there after hours advice nurses available? Where is the closest emergency room? Is it staffed with pediatricians?
If you are traveling, plan ahead and figure out local options for care before the trip.
For Noe Valley Pediatrics patients who need help after hours, we ask you to start with the pediatric after hours clinic/triage nurse line: 415-387-9293
If the nurse is NOT able to help, you will be directed to our answering service where the Noe Valley Pediatrics physician who is on call that night will be paged. The answering service number is 415-753-4697
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we are lucky to have very good options for after hours care.

The UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians Pediatric After Hours Clinics and Advice Service
  • In San Francisco 3490 California Street, Suite 200                          415-387-9293
  • In Berkeley 3000 Colby St Suite 301  (New Location 7/2017)           510-486-8344   
Patients are seen by  appointment:
Monday through Friday 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm,
SaturdaySunday and holidays 8:30 am -9:30 pm

Weeknight pediatricians are made up of participating private pediatricians, including several of our doctors who work an occasional shift in the clinic there. Weekend doctors are fully trained and board certified pediatricians.
On weekdays the phone lines turn on at 5 pm. The advice nurse triage team is available through the night, even after the clinic is closed. The availability of the triage nurse makes this our number one choice.
The Pediatrics After Hours Care at St Luke’s Hospital is affiliated with Sutter/ CPMC and is located at 1580 Valencia Street, 7th Floor #701 This clinic has been open for about a year now.
Pediatrics After Care at St. Luke's
It is now open 7 days a week.
Monday-Friday 5:00pm-10:00pm
Saturday-Sunday 8:30am-10:00pm
Phone: 866-961-8588
This service does not currently have an advice nurse team, but the person answering the phone can help do some basic triage when making the appointment and help redirect you to an emergency room if that seems necessary. This clinic has some advantages besides the convenient location. They start the scheduling process as early as 2 pm, which may make it easier to make a plan if we are already solidly booked here in our office and can’t get you in to see us that same day. They also offer weekend weight and bilirubin checks for our newborns. As a bonus, there is a special waiting area so that the healthy newborns aren’t exposed to the other sick kids.

The two options listed above are the only urgent care facilities with which our office has a close relationship. 
When things are going as they should, both of the above after hours options send a report to the primary doctor's office. In our office, the nurse team reviews the reports and follows up to see how you are doing to maintain a sense of continuity.

I am listing the others below as a convenience.

If you are not in San Francisco, on the Peninsula you have several good options. is a  pediatric urgent care facility. There is no appointment needed.
210 Baldwin Ave in San Mateo. Telephone 650-579-6581

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has several pediatric urgent care options:
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
They have a choice of appointment or drop in. The website gives info about the various locations and current wait times.

In Marin
Greenbrae Pediatric After hours clinic
1260 S Eliseo Drive Floor 2
Greenbrae CA
6:30 pm-9:30 pm Monday through Friday
9:00 am-9:00 pm Weekends and Holidays

There are plenty of general urgent care places popping up all over the place as well. Keep in mind that with most urgent cares, there is no such thing as an appointment and folks just show up and get seen in the order that they come in. There is risk for a much longer wait. They are also not usually staffed with pediatricians. For a teen, this is usually not much of an issue, but for my younger kids, I would try to stick with one of the pediatric after hours clinics. If you do end up at another urgent care, please ask them to send over a report so that we stay in the loop.
Emergency Rooms
In a true emergency of course call 911. If it is less urgent, but you are certain that you child needs immediate medical attention we are lucky to have excellent options here in SF.
When given the choice I will generally opt for one of the true pediatric emergency rooms. You are not competing for care with the elderly heart attack and stroke victims that may be populating the waiting room and getting ranked higher on the triage scale. You will also be assured of seeing a pediatrician and having appropriate pediatric equipment. If an admission is needed, my preference would be either CPMC California campus or UCSF Mission Bay, so there also won’t be any transport needed if you are already at one of those ERs. I think it is worth the extra ten minute drive across town and may save you time in the long run.
The UCSF Pediatric ER in Mission Bay is located at 1975 Fourth Street:
UCSF Pediatric ER
This emergency room has scored very high in a nationwide ranking for getting patients seen in a timely manner.

CPMC pediatric emergency room is located at 3700 California Street/ at Cherry:
CPMC Pediatric Emergency Room
This ER generally gets high marks from our patients.
Some of the common calls that folks need help with after hours are dosage questions. Here is the link to a post with that info: