Sample Pediatric Recall Letters

A call went out on SOAPM last week looking for personalized patient recall letters.  I’ve looked at hundreds over the years, so I asked for volunteers.  I immediately heard from the wonderful folks at the Child and Adolescent Clinic in Longview, WA, who allowed me to rifle through their hard word and share it here.

Sure enough, CAC (as we know them) has dozens of condition-specific letters that they send to patients.  In addition to the usual well visit suspects, they have very specific letters for:

  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Diabetes 1 + 2
  • Down Syndrome
  • Hypertension
  • Hypothyroid
  • ODD
  • Autism

There are consistent patterns throughout the letters, such as this introduction they send to the parents of their 12 year olds:

As the parent of a pre-teen you know that there are many emotional and physical changes that your child is experiencing. There are many things to do to help your child prepare for the exciting years of middle school! There are new health behaviors for them to learn and roadblocks to healthy growth and development that must be overcome.

Or this, from the ADHD letter:

The pediatricians of Child and Adolescent Clinic are dedicated to providing comprehensive medical care to your child with ADHD. ADHD is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood, and effects 4 – 12% of school-aged children. It is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. Effective medical treatment is available but must be carefully and closely monitored. Each child with ADHD has different needs and those needs change from school year to school year. A treatment plan that works for one child may not work for another.

Each introduction has its strengths, but I like how they place the practice in the position of being empathetic and providing a medical home environment.

The letters then proceed to a description of the services that CAC
believes are important for each child and then a call to action
for the parents to follow. Textbook blueprints. If I could amend
these letters, I’d pepper the child’s name throughout, making them
even more personal.

Without more preamble, here are three good ones to start.


12YO Letter

As the parent of a pre-teen you know that there are many emotional and physical changes that your child is experiencing. There are many things to do to help your child prepare for the exciting years of middle school! There are new health behaviors for them to learn and roadblocks to healthy growth and development that must be overcome.

Part of this preparation should include a Well-Child evaluation and physical examination prior to entering middle school. At this appointment the pediatrician or pediatric nurse practitioner will:

* Evaluate physical health
* Assess learning readiness and behavior concerns
* Review your child’s immunization status with regard to meningitis and second chicken pox vaccines. This is the first year Washington state REQUIRES these vaccine prior to entering 6th grade
* Prepare sports participation forms, if your child is planning to participate in school sports
* Complete school required individual health plans if your child has a chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, seizures, etc.

Now is the time to schedule a Well Child-Preteen appointment, when children are out of school on summer vacation. As the summer wears on, the availability and flexibility of appointment times becomes more challenging. We look forward to working with you to help your child toward a healthy adulthood. Please call (XXX) XXX-XXXX to arrange you child’s well examination.


ADHD Letter
Note the mention of the flu vaccine at the end – every time you communicate with your patients, it’s an opportunity to tell them something again. New hours? New doctor? Flu season?

The pediatricians of Child and Adolescent Clinic are dedicated to providing comprehensive medical care to your child with ADHD. ADHD is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood, and effects 4 – 12% of school-aged children. It is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. Effective medical treatment is available but must be carefully and closely monitored. Each child with ADHD has different needs and those needs change from school year to school year. A treatment plan that works for one child may not work for another.

Our goal is not only to control ADHD with medicine, but to improve your child’s quality of life so that he can go to school everyday and be successful. Most children who receive treatment for ADHD based on a long term management plan get along with their parents, siblings, teachers and friends, improve their grades, become more independent with increased self-esteem and decreased disruptive behaviors. We would like to give you the tools, education and medication that will allow your child to reach these goals.
We recognize that parents are the principle caregivers and the strength and support for their child. Parents know their child the best and over time they usually become experts concerning their child’s abilities. We will always respect your knowledge and opinion as a parent. Our role as pediatricians is to share accurate and complete information regarding your child’s condition on an ongoing basis. This is best accomplished by an extended visit every three to four months, called an ADHD Review Visit. At that visit we will review and update the long-term management plan including adjustment of medication.

Our records indicate that your child is due for an ADHD review visit. We look forward to continuing to provide your child with quality ADHD care. Although your child may have had a recent Well Child examination, the ADHD Review Visit is a separate appointment. Please call the Child and Adolescent Clinic a (XXX) XXX-XXXX this week and make an appointment for your child’s ADHD Review Visit.

FLU VACCINE IS NOW AVAILABLE. BE SURE TO GET YOUR CHILD’S VACCINE WHEN YOU COME IN FOR YOUR REVIEW VISIT.


Flu Recall 1

A review of your family’s medical records shows that one or more of your children may be in a high risk group for complications of influenza. The Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend flu vaccine for all children over 6 months of age. Influenza can be especially dangerous in children with certain risk factors including:

CHILDREN 6 – 36 MONTHS OF AGE
CHRONIC DISEASE SUCH AS ASTHMA, RECURENT CHEST INFECTION
METABOLIC DISORDERS
DISEASES OR CONDITIONS THAT CAUSE DECREASED IMMUNITY
OLDER SIBLINGS OF INFANTS LESS THAN 6 MONTHS OLD
SIBLINGS OF CHILDREN WITH CHRONIC CONDITIONS

If it is time for your child’s next well exam, it is a good idea to give the flu vaccine at this visit. Please call our office at (360) 577-1771 if you need to schedule a well visit. If your child does not need a well child visit, please plan to attend one of our FLU VACCINE CLINICS.

SATURDAY CLINICS 9:00 am – 1 pm NOVEMBER 8 & 15, 2013
TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY EVENING CLINICS 5:30 – 8:00 pm NOVEMBER 11 & 12, 2008
We will bill your insurance plan for the vaccine. PLEASE HAVE YOUR CURRENT INSURANCE CARD WITH YOU AT THE TIME OF THE VISIT. We look forward to seeing you and to helping you protect your child against influenza.


Excerpt from Flu Recall 2

Our records indicate your child has been seen for one of the following diagnoses in the past 2 years. This places your child in a HIGH RISK category and we invite you to come in to recieve this child’s flu vaccine.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND WE MUST FIRST PROTECT OUR HIGHEST RISK PATIENTS, THEREFORE, UNTIL OUR FULL SUPPLY IS RECEIVED, WE ARE ONLY ABLE TO IMMUNIZE CHILDREN AGES 3 – 18 YEARS WITH THE FOLLOWING ILLNESSES ONLY.
Autism Prematurity Cystic Fibrosis
Down Syndrome Diabetes Type I
Moderate Persistant or Severe Persistant Asthma

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