More than 31% of nearly 5,000 adults surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June 2020 reported delaying routine care because of concerns about the coronavirus.
Such worries are understandable, but there are many reasons to continue preventive care, such as annual physicals and screenings, during the pandemic, including:
1. Diseases don’t always have warning signs.“Conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and breast cancer can develop without symptoms,” said Jackson Hatfield, MD, primary care physician at Archbold Primary Care. “Routine tests can detect these diseases early, allowing us to get a jump-start on treating them.”
2. Healthcare facilities take plenty of precautions. Hospitals, physicians’ offices and other medical facilities follow expert recommendations to limit the spread of the coronavirus. If you have questions about the steps your doctor’s office is taking, feel free to call and ask.
3. Not all care has to happen in person. Some elements of routine care, including visits to discuss chronic disease management, can take place in the comfort of your home using telemedicine.
4. Poorly controlled health conditions could make a COVID-19 infection worse. Your primary care provider (PCP) can help you manage chronic medical problems. Failing to do so can put you at risk for more severe illness if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19.
5. You need a regular status report on your health. You may not know you’re at risk for chronic disease—or whether an existing one is under control—unless you check in with your PCP at least annually.
Tips for Telehealth
Some preventive care visits can happen via telehealth. If you’ve never had a telehealth visit before these tips can help you navigate a visit like a pro:
- Gather important information, such as lists of allergies and medications, before your appointment.
- Opt for a quiet, private spot in your home for your visit.
- Check your tech before your visit. Ensure your internet connection is reliable and your device is fully charged or plugged in.
- Don’t end your visit without understanding the next steps, such as filling a prescription, getting an imaging test or seeing a specialist.
To find a primary care provider, please visit www.archbold.org.