SIDNEY – Adapting to the desires of today’s parents, Marshall Pediatrics in Sidney is integrating technology in its practice and providing 24/7 access for its patients.
Dr. Sarah Marshall, who opened her pediatric practice this month, said she wants her patients to feel like they’re part of a family. And she and her staff, all of whom are mothers, want to treat their patients like their own children.
“We are mama bears,” Marshall said. “We’re all (mama bears) as actual mothers and of our patients. We are protective and really want what’s best for them.”
Treating patients like family means Marshall wants to be available around the clock. Most after-hours calls go directly to her, something she’s accustomed to from her time working at hospitals including Wilson Health in Sidney.
“I’ve been on 24-hour calls for a long time,” she said. “I’m an old-school doctor so back in the day this is what we always did, you know, we took 24-hour shifts like nothing. And my patients are very considerate about it. They don’t call unless they need something, and if they need something, I want to be there for them.”
Marshall is trying to make it easier for parents to communicate with her and her staff so she’s allowing patients to contact them by calling, texting or emailing. She’s also incorporating more tech into Marshall Pediatrics including online appointment booking, forms that can be filled out electronically, emailed handouts and text message reminders.
“They want to be able to contact us,” Marshall said. “They want to be able to text and get a text reminder and not to spend a hundred years on a phone call on hold waiting to talk to their doctor’s receptionist. So I think that’s important to people, and it’s nice for us as well to be able to be in good contact with our patients and know what’s going on with them and have good communication.”
Later this summer, Marshall plans to begin offering telemedicine visits so parents can seek help for minor ailments without having to bring their children into the office.
“That’s the way medicine is going,” Marshall said. “For a lot of things, for little kids, that’s an easy treatment. There are a lot of kid problems that you can manage by telemed – rashes and insect bites and things like that. Those are problems that a child doesn’t necessarily need to be dragged into the office for.”
Though her practice just recently opened, Marshall already is seeing her efforts pay off and the family feel take hold.
“It’s been really heartwarming how people have come out,” she said. “Our first week one of our families brought us a cake, and one of our families brought us little things for our desks. I got a little bracelet to remind me of one of my families that came over. It’s been super heartwarming how folks have embraced our new practice. More than I ever expected for sure. I thought this would be a business, and it has turned out to be much more of a family.”
To promote a family atmosphere, Marshall Pediatrics is decorated with photos of its staff members and their families. Along with Marshall, the staff includes medical assistant Leah Sanders, office manager and nurse Laura Henderson and receptionist Bridget Lawson.
“We really want people to feel like this is our home, like welcome into our home, you’re our friends and family,” Marshall said.
The practice’s waiting room is designed to feel like a living room, and each of the six examination rooms have televisions and games to make patients more comfortable.
“We play a lot,” Marshall said. “We play Legos here. We color pictures. We do a lot of climbing, singing. We have the music going on the TVs all the time. We do sing-alongs. We like to create a playful environment so the kids feel comfortable and parents feel comfortable. It shouldn’t feel like drudgery to come to the pediatrician.
“We do the vaccines, but we do it last and follow it up with a sucker so it doesn’t seem quite so bad.”
Marshall, who originally is from West Chester, went into pediatrics because of her love for children.
“Pediatrics is the best of medicine,” she said. “My patients are the cutest patients, and they’re the most fun. They’re the most tolerant of silliness. We all love kids here. And the kids in Sidney, the kids in our community, are amazing so we’re super lucky.”
She graduated from the University of Cincinnati medical school in 2001 and did her residency at the University of Arizona. Her husband’s job brought them to Shelby County where they established roots and she started building relationships with patients who followed her to her new practice.
“We love this community. My kids go to school in Anna. This is our home now,” Marshall said. “It’s nice because people already know us in the community. I have been here in Shelby County for six years now so it’s not like we’re an unknown.”
Marshall Pediatrics, located at 322 Second Ave. in Sidney, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parents can call 937-419-0419, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://marshall-pediatrics.com/ for more information.
Reach this writer at email@example.com or 937-538-4824.