As communities across the United States take measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important to be mindful that coronavirus is not the only serious illness worth paying attention to. We know that essential health care needs don’t go “on hold” during a public health emergency.
This means that you should continue to pay attention to any chronic condition you may have, or any new health concerns that may arise and reach out to your physician if you need care.
While the front line healthcare workers in hospitals are facing a heroic battle to combat this pandemic, know that Westmed’s team of primary care physicians, specialists and other providers remain available to care for patients and all of their essential health needs, many of which are unrelated to COVID-19. Although the delivery of health care will undoubtedly look a bit different now and in the future, we are here to help you know what to expect when you want to address any health concerns with our team. Here are some things to consider about getting care during the COVID-19 crisis:
1. Take advantage of Virtual Visits whenever possible, but in-person appointments at Westmed are still available to you.
You are probably aware that we are still postponing many elective surgical procedures for the time being, but there are many types of appointments that are still appropriate for an in-person exam. Reach out to your provider, who will help you understand whether your appointment can be conducted virtually, or whether an in-person visit might be best to help manage your concern.
If you are currently managing COVID-19 or feel you may be suffering from respiratory symptoms, don’t fret. You can still get the essential care you need at our offices. When you call for an appointment, just let your provider know if you have tested positive for coronavirus or are actively managing COVID-19 related symptoms and they will provide you information on how to receive care during designated hours at our locations.
2. New in-office policies have been implemented to keep you safe.
To reduce your exposure risk to coronavirus, all of our providers and patients will be equipped with masks and other personal protective gear across our offices.
You will be asked not to bring visitors, following our updated Visitor Policy*, and when you do arrive, you will be greeted and screened at our doors to be sure you are triaged correctly if you are exhibiting symptoms.
Finally, you will probably spend a lot less time in the waiting room. We have adjusted our schedules to allow for social distancing in the waiting areas. Your doctors and nurses will work hard to get you in an out of the office as quickly as possible.
3. Stay connected with your care team to manage your chronic condition.
Chronic conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease can often worsen if left unmanaged. During this time of social distancing, it is critical to stay in touch with your physicians and remember to monitor your symptoms and lifestyle habits.
Your doctor will provide you with a personalized care plan to help you manage your condition from home and the doctor’s office. Remember you can also use the My Westmed Patient Portal to send your provider an email directly, and get the answers you need to take control of your health.
While you may feel nervous or unsure about going to the doctor’s office at this time, Westmed has a number of protocols in place to keep you safe and minimize everyone’s risk of exposure. If you are concerned with how anything will work once you come to the office, we are here to help you and walk you through it. Remember that you can always find more information about our visitor policy, robust cleaning protocols and updates on our Coronavirus Information & FAQ pages here.
There is no doubt that the world has changed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. We promise that the quality of care you have come to know and expect at Westmed will never change. We are here for you.
*One caregiver is permitted to accompany people who need assistance with their care such as children, infants, disabled or elderly people.