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Don’t Press Pause on Your Health During COVID-19

Don’t Press Pause on Your Health During COVID-19

Staying on top of our wellness is key to a strong well-being

 

by George Dy, MD / Internal Medicine & Nephrology / The Laurel Health Centers - June 25, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 dominates so much of our news and conversation that it’s sometimes hard to remember what life was like before it arrived. As we postpone events, plans, and regular routines, there is one thing we shouldn’t hit pause on: our health. From important preventive measures like vaccines to managing chronic conditions, staying on top of our wellness is key to a strong well-being. If we delay important tests or treatment out of fear of COVID-19, we may in fact make the problem worse.

At Laurel Health, we know your health problems weren’t put on pause during the pandemic, and we’re committed to caring for all our patients throughout the duration of this “new normal” and beyond. We’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes to implement strategic, long-term COVID-19 safety measures and flexible appointment options for patients and staff to ensure everyone receives the care they need whenever they need it.

Flexible Appointments to Meet Your Needs

When we think of a doctor’s appointment, many of us still picture an exam room—but as technology evolves, healthcare is developing new ways to care for patients, including virtual visits. COVID-19 has challenged us to innovate and adapt faster than ever before, and as part of our proactive COVID-19 strategy, the Laurel Health Centers have launched more virtual telemedicine appointments by phone and video to make sure all our patients can be seen safely.

Telemedicine appointments, or televisits for short, allow your provider to conduct a visit in real-time by phone and video chat. The best part? It’s easy! You don’t need to download an app or have any special equipment—all you need is an e-mail address and access to a phone, tablet, or computer. If you have any questions about setting up a televisit, the Laurel Health Centers are always here to help.

Remember, televisits are an option. They don’t replace the need for all in-person care; they are simply another tool in our patient care toolkit that can be used when appropriate.

Yes, It’s Safe to Come to the Clinic

In Tioga County, we are fortunate that our COVID-19 cases have remained manageable—thanks in large part to the community’s diligence in staying home, social distancing, and masking to slow the spread. The Laurel Health Centers remain vigilant, closely monitoring the situation every day to ensure we are prepared to respond to all of our patients’ needs.

Until an effective vaccine and COVID-19 treatments are developed, you can expect a visit to your health clinic to look a little different. One thing that hasn’t changed? Patient safety and satisfaction are our number one priority.

Here are some of the many ways Laurel Health is committed to protecting you:

  • Call ahead scheduling to pre-screen all patient symptoms, exposure risks, and concerns
  • New pre-registration processes to eliminate onsite check-in
  • Thorough patient and staff screenings at each entrance
  • A parking lot waiting room model to maintain social distancing and reduce time spent in the clinic: patients wait in their car until their provider is ready then are masked and escorted directly to the exam room
  • Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures followed around-the-clock
  • All patients are provided a mask before entering
  • All staff and patients are masked at all times
  • Increased telemedicine usage as appropriate (virtual visits by phone and video)
  • Ongoing patient education and signage

Managing Your Health

Coronavirus COVID-19 has placed many parts of our lives on hold, but one thing that can’t wait is your health. With so much stress, anxiety, and upheaval, it is vital that we continue to focus on our physical, mental, and emotional health. After all, if we do not take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others.

At Laurel Health, we understand that your health problems weren’t paused during the pandemic, and we’re working hard to get patients back to needed services safely. We have both in-person and telemedicine visits available to:

  • Evaluate symptoms and answer your health questions
  • Diagnose health issues and recommend treatments
  • Order lab work, x-rays, or other tests
  • Prescribe medication or specialist referrals
  • Manage chronic conditions or follow-up care
  • Provide preventive health screenings like women’s health exams, vaccines, and physicals
  • Discuss wellness goals and progress

As we begin to look ahead to the next phase of our COVID-19 response, we encourage patients to talk with their family doctors about health screenings, follow-up care, and treatments that may have been postponed. If you have a health concern, don’t press pause—call your family doctor.

The Laurel Health Centers are committed to making sure all patients receive the care they need safely — whether that’s acute care, preventive screenings, vaccines, follow-up care, or wellness checks. We’re here for you. Always. To make an appointment, call 1-833-LAURELHC (1-833-528-7354).

Together, we’ll choose the care delivery that’s right for you, whether that means a virtual telemedicine visit from home or a safe trip to our clinic. For more information about seeking care safely during COVID-19 or Laurel Health Center services, visit laurelhc.org or facebook.com/laurelhc.

About the Laurel Health Centers

The Laurel Health Centers offer award-winning family medicine and behavioral health services for the whole family throughout Tioga County. We are committed to serving all patients regardless of their ability to pay, offering a sliding fee scale to ensure all patients receive the care they need. Services include family medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, internal medicine, preventive wellness care, nutrition, diabetes education, chiropractic care, sports medicine, mental health, dental services, recovery care, and chronic disease management. For more information, call 1-833-LAURELHC or visit laurelhc.org.

Credits:

Writing: George Dy, MD / Internal Medicine & Nephrology / The Laurel Health Centers

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by Laurel Health Centers

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