Your Child's Outpatient Visit for GI, Hepatology & Nutrition
The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition offers outpatient appointments in the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care and additional locations at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Main Campus in Philadelphia. Depending on the program within the Division that you are meeting with, expert clinicians are also potentially available at numerous locations, including:
- Abington, PA
- Chalfont, PA (Bucks County)
- Glen Mills, PA (Brandywine)
- Exton, PA
- King of Prussia, PA
- Lancaster, PA
- Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County)
- Princeton, NJ
- Voorhees, NJ
- Virtua Voorhees Hospital, NJ
Prior to your visit
At scheduling, you will be given instructions on signing up for MyCHOP, an online tool that allows you to securely access your child’s medical records from your smart phone, computer or tablet. See here for more information on the benefits of MyCHOP. Signing up for MyCHOP will give you access to complete our New Patient Questionnaire before your appointment. This will help make your visit go as smoothly as possible. You need to activate your MyCHOP account within the week so that you do not lose access. Your access will be expanded once you come in for your appointment.
Arriving for your visit
When you arrive for your first visit, you will register your child with the front desk. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment so Hospital staff can review all of your paperwork and ask any additional questions.
If you arrive late, you risk being seen later or having your appointment rescheduled. Please call us at 215-590-3630 if you are running late.
We will validate your Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care parking ticket at check-in, which will provide you with a reduced parking fee for your visit.
If you need to cancel your appointment, please give us 72 hours’ notice. Another family will be grateful for your time. Please call 215-590-3630 to cancel.
What to bring
A parent or legal guardian must be present for the first consultation.
We encourage you to bring toys, books and/or snacks to keep your child or children occupied and content while waiting. Please make sure you bring the following to your first appointment:
- Referral paperwork. This must be in place at the time of the visit or your visit may be delayed or rescheduled.
- Any authorization your insurance company may require. You should call your insurance company to get this information.
- Copay or coinsurance for the visit. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-664-7855.
- The name and phone number of your pharmacy.
- Copies of documentation for labs, radiology and procedure tests — even if the results are normal.
- A copy of your child’s recent growth chart (if available).
- Proof of guardianship, if you are the child’s legal guardian.
- All of the medications your child currently takes — including over-the-counter medications — in a bag. If you’d prefer to write a list of medications, we will need the medicine name, dosage, frequency, prescribing doctor, pharmacy name and phone number, as well as how long your child has been using this medication. Most families find it easier to toss everything in a bag and bring it along.
Your child’s examination
When your child’s name is called, you and your child will be escorted to a private examination room. We will take your child’s vital signs, such as temperature, blood pressure, weight and height. We will review the new patient questionnaire that you completed online with you and your child and take a full medical history. This will include your child’s allergies and medications, as well as any family history of illness. Please remember to bring any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications your child is taking.
Remember to ask your provider for all prescription refills at the time of visit.
Your child's first visit
Your first visit typically lasts approximately 40 – 60 minutes, but may last longer depending on the Center you are visiting. Your visit will include a physical exam, a review of your child's medical history, and a discussion of possible next steps. We may order diagnostic labs, but they are unlikely to be conducted the same day. You will have the opportunity during this initial patient visit to discuss your child’s symptoms and ask questions. Please jot down any questions or comments you’d like to share. This can ensure you get as much information as you need now.
The following questions can help guide your discussion with clinicians during your appointment.
- What type of gastrointestinal disorder does my child have?
- How many children with the same condition have you or your program treated?
- What are the treatment choices for the disorder my child has?
- Which treatment do you recommend for my child and why?
- How will this GI condition and its treatment affect the length and quality of my child's life?
- Are there other specialty services (e.g. cardiac, oncology) that will be involved in my child’s care?
- How long will treatment last for my child?
- What are the chances this treatment will be successful and how will we know if it is successful?
- What are the risks of this treatment for my child — both short-term and long-term?
- Are there other treatment approaches are available for my child? What are they?
- Are there any clinical trials my child is a candidate for? What is your experience with those trials?
- What support programs do you offer GI patients and their families?
- Are professionals such as pediatric psychologists, social workers and nutritionists on your staff?
- What resources do you offer to help my child and my family cope with the emotional, financial and physical issues we may experience?
At the end of your child's visit, you will receive a visit summary form that details next steps and instructions for your child's care. A copy of a summary report will be sent to the referring physician so we can ensure your child's care plan is well coordinated and communicated.
After your child’s first visit
Many initial visits result in additional testing to establish or confirm your child's diagnosis. For this reason, we ask parents to bring your calendar with you so we can schedule further testing if needed.
Scheduling diagnostic testing and services
For your convenience, Children's Hospital provides a full range of services, such as X-ray, blood work and other testing services. Please check with your insurance plan to make sure that you are permitted to have testing performed here. In some cases, a referral form from your insurance company and/or a consultation with a Children's Hospital physician may be necessary.
If your child needs to have lab work done, the fastest and easiest way to get the results is through MyCHOP. Most lab results are posted in MyCHOP as soon as we receive them. You may also see notes from your care team, and you can send your providers a message if you have questions about the results. A member of the care team will contact you if you need to follow-up. Please call your care team (using the number listed on your After Visit Summary) or send a message via MyCHOP if you have not received your lab results in seven to 10 days, or if you have question.