With a global pandemic and routines focused only on the essentials of life, Americans have a lot of questions about how to handle health issues that are not emergencies or not COVID-19 related. Many are wondering if they should address health problems now or just wait it out until the coronavirus calms down.
Do I keep that 4-month follow-up visit to check on my medications? Does it even matter?
I’ve been having new indigestion and stomach problems for weeks. Do I just pop some over-the-counter meds or call my health provider?
I’ve got a cough and a sore throat. I think it’s my allergies flaring up, but maybe it’s the start of coronavirus. Do I check with my own doctor or just go to urgent care?
There are four reasons why continuing to see your primary care provider, even if it’s by video, is vitally important to your health. Of course, if you have a true medical emergency, always call 911.
4 Reasons to Make or Keep the Appointment with Your Medical Provider
1.Monitoring Ongoing Conditions Prevents Future Complications
It’s important to monitor ongoing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic illnesses. For example, if your medications aren’t controlling your blood sugar, you are at a higher risk of developing heart disease and kidney problems. Or maybe you recently started a new medication for a condition. It’s important for you and your doctor to discuss if it’s helping or if you are having any unwanted side effects.
2.Diagnosing New Conditions Early Helps You Feel Better Faster
Most health issues — whether it’s a rash caused by eczema, a sinus infection, or a stomach ulcer — will take more time to treat (as well as possibly cost more to treat) if they aren’t addressed early. Be assured, that even in the midst of a pandemic, your doctor wants to help you with any new symptoms. Many offices now offer video or telephone visits so that you can see your provider without coming into the office.
3.Knowing Your Health History Leads to the Best Decisions if You are Sick
Should you become sick with either COVID-19 symptoms or some other illness, a provider who knows you, your current health, and your health history, is better able to make a diagnosis and decisions that lead to the best care and outcomes.
At LeBauer HealthCare and other Cone Health practices, providers are able to access a special monitoring protocol for any patients who have coronavirus symptoms. This tool can be used during a virtual (video or telephone) visit to help determine the best care and next steps for patients with coronavirus symptoms.
“I’ve been able to help several of my patients with symptoms of COVID-19 avoid a trip to the Emergency Room or urgent care with this monitoring tool,” says Dr. Stacey Blyth, a provider at LeBauer Primary Care at MedCenter High Point.
4.Staying Physically and Mentally Healthy for the Long-Term is Important
Taking steps to take care of yourself physically and mentally not only boosts immunity today, but it also helps ensure long-term health and quality of life. Your health provider can offer guidance and a plan to help you reach those goals, including tips for exercise, nutrition, and sleep. Doctors realize these types of stay-healthy tips are especially important for dealing with the stresses of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Virtual Visits Keep You Safe
LeBauer HealthCare is offering video visits for both new and existing patients. This offers care from a trusted provider while preventing the spread of coronavirus.
For urgent illnesses, same-day appointments are available.
In addition to primary care, video visits are available for counseling, sports medicine, gastroenterology, neurology, pulmonology, and endocrinology.
Telephone visits can be arranged for patients without a smartphone or computer.
Schedule a Primary Care or Counseling Video Visit
For a primary care visit at one of LeBauer’s nine offices, new patients can request an appointment with this online form and existing patients can request a visit through MyChart. For urgent illnesses, call your LeBauer location.
The team at LeBauer Behavioral Medicine is offering virtual counseling visits by video or telephone to both new and existing patients. You can contact your nearest LeBauer office or request an appointment online.