Providing Quality Care With Limited Resources is Among the Core Challenges in Pediatrics
JUST ASK NATALIE
Natalie was ten years old when one day while playing in school with her friends, got hit by a swing in her abdomen area. With initial medication, she was discharged from the school hospital. Afraid of being scolded, she hid the incident entirely from her parents. A few days later, Natalie started complaining of severe stomach aches very frequently. Natalie’s parents consulted a doctor to which not much was diagnosed.
After a few months, the incident being wholly forgotten, Natalie, someone who always loved food, started throwing a fuss about her meals. She would often cry inconsolably when forced to eat. This made her parents worried more so because she was losing weight drastically, and it was unlike Natalie to remain away from food. Getting worried, her parents consulted their family physician, who then recommended them to consult a pediatrician. However, the referred pediatrician was not available for consultation, and her parents began exploring the web for a pediatric practitioner nearby. After coming across dozens of positive and five-starred reviews on both Google and Bing, they decided to get in touch with the Little Saplings Pediatric Center Private Limited.
Natalie’s parents remembered to utilize the physician appointment scheduler for reserving their preferred day and time for the consultation. The system also sent several texts and email reminders on multiple occasions over the phone and in the mailbox before the day of their visit to the said facility.
Besides, before the date of consultation, Natalie’s parents employed the personal health record or PHR service for remotely sharing the medical history of their daughter with the pediatrician with whom they booked an appointment. It worked as expected, and they were not required to sit in the waiting room after they arrived at the Little Saplings Pediatric Center Private Limited.
The consultant pediatrician recommended a gastric emptying examination that confirmed Natalie had gastroparesis, a critical health condition that impairs the mobility of the stomach and its functioning as well. This condition further leads to vomiting, chronic nausea, intense pain, and bloating. Such patients are usually required to depend on nasal feeding support. The consultant pediatrician seeing Natalie referred her to a pediatric surgeon.
The pediatric surgeon operated on Natalie and placed a gastric stimulation device inside her abdominal cavity. It was evident that she would be benefited most from a permanent tubular arrangement, particularly during those turbulent times when her condition is expected to worsen. Today, Natalie sees her pediatric care team in every five months and consumes as many as five hundred calories by mouth on an especially good day. Her parents use the telemedicine facility when any member of the pediatric team is not available for an in-clinic consultation.
Although a life-threatening health disorder like gastroparesis remains incurable to date, Natalie can lead an increasingly comfortable life despite her limitations. Her parents regularly visit the online Marketplace and purchase various healthcare articles and services, including medications, which help them better manage the condition of their daughter.
She is required to have her device replaced routinely, including the GJT or gastro-jejunal tube and tunneled central venous or TCV line. The GJT helps in absorbing the nutrients, and TCV line manages the other prevailing condition, that is, POTS or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. The POTS is associated with the compromised working of the autonomic nervous system. Natalie watches the educational videos on the PatientMD platform every week to learn more about her disease and what measures she could take for minimizing her flares.
Natalie is very much satisfied with the services provided by both PatientMD and Little Saplings Pediatric Center Private Limited. She intends to join an undergraduate degree program on healthcare administration after graduating from high school.