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Hospitals and doctor’s offices seem like the worst place to be during a pandemic. Many medical offices, hospitals, and surgeons canceled non-emergency procedures to accommodate the influx of coronavirus cases. Knowing that the numbers of cases are still high, it may be anxiety-inducing to go back to the doctor for your normal check-up. Businesses have started to reopen, and doctors have started to schedule more non-emergency procedures. Is it safe to go back to the doctor’s office?
The pressure for hospitals and doctor’s offices to re-open is great even while patients are wary to return. The financial implications of reopening serve as incentives for some medical offices to reopen, as the pandemic has caused the hospital industry to lose about $50 billion per month. Elective procedures are the lifeblood of hospitals, financially; without them, hospitals have struggled.
While doctor’s offices are seen as a place of healing and safety, in the current climate it may be difficult to choose to go back. Telemedicine offers a solution for those who are worried about seeing their doctor in person. Telemedicine offers a solution for non-emergency care front eh safety and convenience of your own home while still ensuring that your symptoms are reviewed and a medical professional is monitoring your case.
Health care providers are taking care to keep their patients safe. These precautions include:
- COVID-19 screening questionnaires
- No-touch thermometer temperature check for employees and patients.
- Required face masks
- Implementing social distancing measures in populated areas
- Employees are tested regularly
- Patients may be tested a few days before their procedure
While health care providers are covering a lot of bases, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself as safe as possible. Including:
- Take your temperature before you go to your appointment
- Wash your hands before you leave the house and sanitize regularly
- Wear a mask and gloves if you feel it’s necessary
- Avoid touching your face, especially areas like your nose, eyes, and mouth
- Show up on time, not before to avoid overcrowding in the waiting room
- Try to stay away from touching surfaces
- Practice proper social distancing measures
While you begin to navigate returning to in-person patient care, consider your options and take the proper precautions.
If you can utilize Virtual Health/ telemedicine, now is the time to use this service. While telemedicine can’t replace all in-person appointments, it can replace regular checkups, virus check-ins, cold and flu-like symptoms and rashes, and many other non-life-threatening cases. For those who still feel the need to go into the MD’s office: if you take the proper precautions when you are in person you can navigate this new normal and stay safe!