Keeping Up with Annual Exams During COVID-19
Over the past few months, many of our patients have had to delay their annual exams and screenings such as colonoscopies and mammography. Even more urgent issues like renewing medications and seeing the doctors for complaints have been delayed because of COVID-19 concerns. Because the immediate threat of new cases has declined, we are now able to care for our patients in new and innovative ways. It is now time to start taking care of those routine medical issues and start taking care of yourself again.
“Screening tests are designed to catch diseases early so they can be acted upon,” said Catholic Health Services Vice President for the Primary Care Service Line Anthony P. Ardito, MD. “A delay of one or two months may be okay, but longer delays can be a problem. We now offer ways to safely see people for those that still may be concerned to come to the medical office. “We don’t want to wait six months to delay your medical care.”
To maintain your health during COVID-19, Dr. Ardito recommends telemedicine such as CHS eVisit. This is a good way for those with chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure to see a physician through video conferencing and address any concerns or review your medication. For our Medicare population, you can also perform your annual wellness exam and use this time to review any medical concerns and discuss your individual medical goals for the year.
If there are clinical issues that are more concerning, Dr. Ardito recommends you schedule an in-person visit with your doctor. Procedures are in place to ensure a clean and safe environment in all the practice run by Catholic Health Services. These include having patients stay in their vehicles until a cleaned exam room is ready, which eliminates the need to sit in a waiting area. We also perform an initial screening to check for COVID-19 symptoms at the time the appointment is scheduled and when the patient arrives at the office.
“We have procedures in place to get patients into our physician offices safely,” said Dr. Ardito. “Telemedicine is here to stay. But, we will also need to see patients in the office for checkups and are asking everyone to take an active role in their health.”