Healthy Living Blog

4 Reasons to Continue Visits with Your Primary Care Physician During the COVID-19 Crisis

May 21, 2020 | Primary Care

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?  A young woman receives care through a video visit.

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.

Listen to Dr. Blyth discuss the advantages of virtual visits with patients.

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.

Learn how exercise can help lower your anxiety in our recent blog.

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.

 

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The New Look of Medical Care: A Mix of Video, Phone, and In-Person Visits

May 14, 2020 | Primary Care

 

Doctor ready for a virtual visit by phoneAs North Carolina begins phases of reopening, LeBauer HealthCare is continuing to offer virtual visits as well as modified in-person care in offices. While North Carolina has been successful so far in flattening the COVID-19 curve, doctors realize resuming care in the way it was offered before the pandemic could put patients at risk and cause a spike in cases.

Here’s a look at the latest changes in care at LeBauer offices throughout the Triad and how video and telephone visits will continue to play a crucial role in patient care.

Virtual Visit Options are Here to Stay

Video visits have proved so popular with patients that the option will remain even after the COVID crisis is over. Providers have found video visits effective for diagnosing and treating a wide range of illnesses as well as for follow-up and wellness care.

“We can tell a lot by video by looking at you to see how you are breathing and your facial expression,” says Dr. Stacey Blyth with LeBauer Primary Care at MedCenter High Point. “Eighty percent of medicine is in the interview with the patient anyway…That interview and the conversation helps me know how to take care of you.”

Video visits are available for both primary care and specialty care patients, including counseling services. For urgent needs, same-day appointments are available. For patients without access to technology, telephone visits are available.

Changes to Office Visits

Office visits are available for patients without COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. For example, some patients require lab work or screenings such as a blood pressure check, a pap smear, or a strep test. Office visits also allow providers to check for fluid in the ears or lungs or perform other physical exams.

To reduce the risk of any COVID-19 exposure, LeBauer offices have found creative ways to change the usual office visit. These changes include:

  • Safer Waiting  – Some offices may have patients wait in the car and then call or text them when staff is ready for them to come inside. Offices with larger waiting rooms or lower patient volume are modifying processes to ensure fewer patients are in the waiting area at any one time and that they are spaced more than 6-feet apart.
  • Masks – All patients, providers, and staff will wear masks. If you do not have a mask, we will give you one.
  • Sanitizing – All exam rooms are cleaned thoroughly between patients. Touchpads, door handles, and other surfaces in the front office are sanitized every hour.
  • LeBauer Staff Screening  – All LeBauer staff and providers are screened each day they come into work. They answer a series of questions about any possible COVID-19 symptoms and exposure for themselves and those they live with.
  • Hand Washing – All nurses and providers use appropriate hand washing or sanitizing upon entering and exiting the exam room.

“We’re using precautions to make our offices safe for both patients and our team. It’s actually safer than going to the grocery store,” says Dr. Blyth.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Patients with COVID-19 symptoms will be scheduled for a same-day video visit. If a patient with symptoms requires testing or in-person care, their doctor will direct them about how to access a testing site or receive care safely.

Call to Find Out Which Type of Visit You Need

Whether you are a new patient or an existing patient, you can call LeBauer and talk to our team to determine if you need a virtual visit or an in-person visit. See phone numbers for all of our locations. New patients can also request an appointment with this convenient online form, and existing patients can request non-urgent appointments in MyChart.

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Exercise to Lower Your Anxiety

April 20, 2020 | Behavioral Medicine, Primary Care, Wellness

Mother Exercise With Her Baby At HomeEveryone is feeling a certain amount of stress about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, and that’s perfectly normal. However, for many people, that stress may turn into anxiety, particularly if they have a loved one who is sick or working on the front lines. This can also be a trying time for the nearly 40 million Americans who already suffer from an anxiety disorder. 

The good news is that there are many tested techniques for coping with anxiety. A number of research studies point to exercise as one method for effectively reducing stress and anxiety. Keep reading to learn how exercise can help and for ways to exercise during COVID-19 social distancing and gym closures. 

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Why Patients Love Virtual Visits

April 14, 2020 | Primary Care, Wellness

Close-up Of A Woman Video Conferencing With Female Doctor On LaptopHundreds of LeBauer patients have participated in virtual visits with their providers during the past few weeks. Patients are finding this new way to connect with their doctor reassuring and convenient. 

Both primary care providers and specialists throughout LeBauer practices are offering WebEx video visits and telephone visits for those without video capabilities. If patients are unable to access WebEx, offices can also arrange for Zoom or FaceTime video visits, or using doxy.me, which connects you without the need to download an app or create an account. 

Here is what a few of our patients recently said in surveys about their experience. 

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Tips to Keep Your Family Physically and Mentally Healthy During the Coronavirus Outbreak

April 7, 2020 | Behavioral Medicine, Primary Care

Our daily life and routines have been totally disrupted with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading across the United States. It’s important to follow guidelines to take care of yourself and your family in order to prevent the spread of the virus. 

You may also be asking yourself how you can lower your stress levels or feel less isolated while staying at home. 

Check out these resources and tips to help you and your family stay both physically and mentally healthy during the coronavirus outbreak. 

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Allergy Treatment: What Works, What Doesn’t, and When to See the Doctor

March 30, 2020 | Primary Care


young woman comparing labels of medicationsIf you find yourself dreading the budding trees of spring or overwhelmed while staring at shelves of over-the-counter allergy remedies, be reassured that you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 19.2 million adults and 5.2 million children were diagnosed with seasonal allergies in 2018. 

Allergy sufferers know the stuffy nose and itching, watery eyes that come with seasonal allergies can be severe enough to interfere with sleep or lead to sinus infections. While the pharmaceutical industry has produced a host of products targeted to help relieve symptoms, discovering what works for each individual can be tricky. 

These tips can help you make sense of treatment options and know when you should consult a doctor. 

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Six Common Myths About Safe Sex

February 25, 2020 | Primary Care

Let’s talk about sex. More specifically, safe sex. Intimate couple laughing in bed

In your younger days, this topic might have made you cringe. Whether it was an awkward conversation with your parents, a mandatory high school health course, or a first trip to the gynecologist, chances are, you didn’t ask all the questions on your mind. 

But now, you’re older…wiser…and, like most men and women, you’ve encountered your fair share of misconceptions about safe sex. That’s why we created this blog post, to debunk a few of the common myths and empower you to take control of your sexual health.

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What will this doctor’s visit cost me? A quick guide to common insurance terms

February 12, 2020 | Primary Care

Tis the season for colds, coughs, and a variety of other ailments that have people of all ages questioning whether they need to see a doctor. Unfortunately, even those with health insurance often try to tough it out because they are unsure what an appointment will cost. It’s true — insurance jargon can be confusing, and if you’ve ever been shocked by a large and unanticipated bill for a checkup or medical test, we understand the hesitancy. Knowing the common insurance terms can empower you to get the most out of your policy and avoid unwelcome surprises for years to come.

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Delivering What Patients Want: Courtesy, Clear Communication, and Genuine Care

January 30, 2020 | Primary Care, Awards/Recognitions

What do patients really want in order to feel good about their doctor and visits to the office? It’s not just an accurate diagnosis and the right medical treatment plan. 

Patients need to feel like they were treated with courtesy and respect by office staff and the doctor. Another vital factor in patient satisfaction is clear communication, which includes both listening to a patient and explaining things in a way that he or she can understand.

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7 Steps for Helping Senior Parents with Doctor Visits

January 20, 2020 | Primary Care

Adult daughter taking care of senior motherHelping aging parents with the coordination or management of medical care can often feel overwhelming for adult children. If you’ve watched a senior parent struggle with remembering information a doctor provided or have a hard time keeping track of multiple medications, you’ve likely realized you need to step in to offer some support. Yet knowing where to start with that effort can be difficult. 

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Important Virtual Visits & Other Important Updates for New & Current Patients During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.