Even when in-person health visits aren’t an option, prioritizing our health means getting in touch with our doctors and primary care providers when we aren’t feeling our best. While health care providers all over the country are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, managing the routine and emergent health care needs of our patients is still a priority.
1. Seek Care for Medical Emergencies
Many people are hesitant to visit their local emergency department right now over concerns about safety, cleanliness and the potential of contracting COVID-19. But, regardless of current public health concerns, emergencies are still emergencies, and the recommendation that existed before the pandemic still applies.
If you or a loved one is seriously injured, experiences sudden chest pains, is having difficulty breathing, or has an adverse reaction to medication or other substances you can and should still call 9-1-1 or head to your local emergency department immediately.
2. Stay On Top Of Your Prescriptions
Unless otherwise instructed by your provider, you should continue to take your essential prescriptions and medications. Pharmacies are considered life-sustaining businesses, so you should still be able to access necessary prescriptions and refills if and when you need them. If you have questions about getting medications or need to make an adjustment to your prescription, contact your primary care provider.
Telemedicine platforms have been implemented at many pharmacies. You may be able to use these services to order, renew, or pay for your prescriptions without having to leave home. In some locations, contact-less delivery options are also available for added safety.
3. Contact Your Provider for Everyday Health Questions/Concerns
Injuries, illnesses, and other everyday health problems still exist – even during a pandemic.
Consider issues like conjunctivitis, nausea, a sore throat, rash or allergies. For health concerns like these, you may be able to connect with your provider virtually. Telemedicine is a valuable tool for both patients and providers and can be helpful in diagnostic and preventive care when office visits aren’t an option. Virtual appointments, like those offered at Main Line Health, allow providers to stay connected with their patients and offer the same quality care and one-on-one attention they can during a traditional office visit.
Of course, telemedicine isn’t right for every situation. Your provider may recommend an in-office visit for immunizations, physicals or other time-sensitive medical issues. If you’re not sure what kind of visit is right for you, start with a call to your provider’s office. They can direct you to whether your need can be addressed via telemedicine or if an in-office visit is necessary.
Regardless of what your health question or need is, don’t let worries about COVID-19 or the availability of your health care provider stop you from seeking care. When in doubt, it is always better to address health concerns sooner rather than later.