(Family Features) If you’ve been putting off a visit to your doctor during COVID-19, you’re not alone.
Most adults (57%) agree the pandemic has changed how they feel about going to a health care provider’s office, according to a survey of 1,000 adults in October 2020 from a national alliance of health care experts working to stop medical distancing, which was commissioned and sponsored by AbbVie.
The survey showed that in adults with chronic diseases, cancellations of their visits to the doctor amounted to 61%. Of those that had canceled appointments, 18% did not reschedule them. Some of the reasons included concerns about contracting COVID-19, not wanting to go into the hospital if not necessary and believing they can hold off on care until the end of the pandemic.
Keeping up with regular appointments is an important part of effective ongoing health care, especially for those managing chronic conditions. Continuous, clear and open communication with your health care providers is essential to getting the care you need.
See Your Doctor
Most important to know during this time are the measures your health care providers are taking, such as wearing personal protective equipment, practicing physical distancing and increasing cleaning and sanitization procedures. Find out what precautions health care providers are taking in your area.
Also, see if your health care team offers telehealth appointments as an alternative. Virtual visits put you face-to-face with your doctor from the comfort and safety of your own home.
“It’s generally wise to limit in-person interactions to safeguard against contracting COVID-19, but forgoing care for an ongoing health condition, especially a chronic illness, may put patients at unnecessary risk,” said Dr. Oren Cohen, chief medical officer, Labcorp Drug Development. “Our goal in health care is to keep patients safe and healthy. Health care providers have established robust protocols to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Calling ahead to understand the process for an office visit or test is a good idea. In some circumstances, telehealth visits may be a good option as well.”
Keep Up with Your Medicines
In addition to seeing your doctor, it’s also important to take your medications as prescribed. Stay in touch with your pharmacy and health care provider team to ensure prescriptions stay current. Also avoid waiting until the last minute to request a refill so you don’t encounter delays or potentially miss doses.
Seeing your doctor and taking your medications are very important to your ongoing care. It’s also a time to talk with your health care provider for more advice on how to get the care you need during the pandemic and beyond.
Take Control of Your Health Care During COVID-19
Health care providers are taking extra precautions and implementing additional protocols to conduct in-person visits in the safest way possible. Here’s what you can do to take care of your health:
- Make and keep your appointments.
- Reschedule any canceled appointments.
- If you decide to see the doctor in-person, be sure to call your doctor and ask what health precautions are being taken.
- Consider a telehealth visit as an alternative to going to an in-person visit.
- Take your medications as prescribed.
- Check the expirations of your medications and ask for refills with plenty of time to have them filled.
- Ask your health care provider for additional ways to protect your health during this pandemic.
Sponsored by AbbVie
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