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How to be an Active Participant in Your Child’s Healthcare

Published on Apr. 29, 2021

Whether it’s engaging with your child’s healthcare record and healthcare team or preparing for your child’s doctor visit or surgery, there are a few things you can do to be an active participant in your child’s healthcare:

Accessing Medical Information

We believe that enabling our patients, families and their patient representatives to access, obtain, understand and engage their medical information improves overall patient well-being, safety and satisfaction.

Roberta Baranda, Director of Health Information Management“The patient owns their medical record data, and it is theirs to keep, read and understand,” says Valley Children’s Director of Health Information Management (HIM) Roberta Baranda. “Valley Children’s is a resource for our patient families and we recognize the value of empowering and partnering with our patient families to make their health information available in a timely way, in a format that they need it and ensuring the technology is readily available and easily accessible.”

Your child’s medical information is available by electronic means through our secure Valley Children’s Healthcare MyChart Patient Portal. There are a few exceptions, but a vast majority of notes are made available on the MyChart portal, no matter what health condition your child may have. If you do not see a note on MyChart, you can always ask for a paper copy. Click here to sign up for the Valley Children’s Healthcare MyChart portal.

Valley Children’s protects patient privacy and takes every safeguard to protect the security of their information. Valley Children’s wants to be an active partner always striving to assist a patient with safely accessing, using and exchanging information. Just like our commitment to patient safety, we are committed to health information safety. Information about accessing your information is available on our website or by calling (559) 353-5404.

In Preparation for a Doctor Visit

Communicating with your child’s healthcare team and asking questions in advance can make for a smoother visit for all. Ask questions. Will my child have any shots during the visit? Can my child bring their stuffed animal and comfort blanket?

It is not uncommon for children to worry when they hear they are “going to see the doctor.” Some children openly express their feelings, yet others will keep theirs a secret. As parents, we can help our children overcome their fear and anxiety about visiting the doctor by being in tune with our children’s behavior before, during and after the appointment and responding with compassion and support. There are some DO’s and DONT’s when it comes to talking to your child about their upcoming visit; click here for ways you can help your child overcome their fear of visits to the doctor.

Helping Your Child Prepare for Surgery

Going into surgery can be scary for a child – and as a parent, it’s likely you’re concerned as well. Consider these ways to help ease both you and your child’s worries:

Encourage questions – no matter your child’s age, they will look to you for reassurance. It’s important for you, as the adult, to be calm and comfort them prior to their procedure. One way to help yourself be calm as possible about the surgery is to learn all you can. Ask your Valley Children’s team questions and encourage input from your child.

When talking to your child about the surgery, it’s important to use short, simple and child-friendly language. (For instance, say “making a small opening” instead of “incision” or “cutting your skin.”)

For other ways to prepare for your child’s hospital visit, click here.

At Valley Children’s, kids are at the heart of what we do. It takes a community to raise the future generation and as champions and advocates for all children and pediatric healthcare in the Central Valley, we want to be your partner and source for education and resources – as we work together with a focus on one goal: getting kids back to the business of being kids.