The most effective way to maintain your health is by staying on top of recommended preventive care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting your doctor may look different from usual and may take extra time to coordinate, but these tips can help you remain proactive about your care.
Contact your provider before canceling an existing appointment for an annual or other preventive visit. If your doctor offers telehealth visits, this may be an option for your situation.
Prepare for an in-person visit. Your doctor may determine that it is not appropriate to delay check-ups if you are a high-risk patient, such as if you are an older adult or someone with a chronic condition. If your doctor advises you to come into the office, be sure to carefully read and follow all the health and safety protocols outlined by your provider.
Find out if telehealth is offered through your employer. While this may not be an option for all visits (like dental or vision exams), it’s a great way to talk to a physician about your overall health. If anything you discuss needs further attention, you can address it in a timely way.
Prepare, too, for your telehealth session. You might be asked about health insurance information, medical history–including past procedures, medications, and your provider’s contact name and numbers, among other information.
Check if in-person “well visits” are offered. For example, kids should still be receiving scheduled immunizations, so contact your children’s provider to confirm how they are continuing care at this time.
If you need to visit the office for a screening, immunization or other care, take precautions – wear a mask, clean your hands regularly and follow distancing and other procedures as outlined by your provider.
Keep up with good self-care prevention habits. With many doctor and dental offices not fully open and emergency rooms challenged with COVID-19 patients, it’s important to not only be vigilant about wearing face coverings, social distancing and hand washing, but to also keep up with routine habits that keep you as healthy as possible. Be extra vigilant about daily brushing and flossing, eating nutrient-dense food, limiting alcohol, getting proper sleep, and taking the right safety precautions (such as wearing safety goggles when using power equipment, a helmet when biking, and a life jacket when boating, and protecting against poison ivy and bug bites when outside).
For more information about doctor visits and getting medications during the pandemic, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/doctor-visits-medicine.html