The Importance of Maintaining Primary Care Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Tower Health reminds the public about the importance of continuing to see your primary care provider, even as the coronavirus remains in our community. Regular wellness, screening, and preventive visits with a primary care provider can help manage any ongoing health issues or detect new conditions. According to Sharon Fleischer, MD, Family Medicine – Tower Health Medical Group, regular interactions with a primary care provider are especially important for individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure. Lack of proper care for a chronic health condition can worsen short-term symptoms and affect your health.
“In addition to keeping up with regular primary care, I encourage my patients to eat healthy with low glycemic foods every few hours, and to decrease the processed junk foods which have little nutritional value,” says Dr. Fleischer. “Regular exercise is also important to strengthen the immune system and may help prevent you from getting sick or having complications from infections. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, I recommend that individuals practice regular exercise of 30 minutes daily, but if you are not used to any exercise, start with a few minutes every day and build slowly. Lastly, I explain the importance of healthy sleep to control your mood, weight, energy and immunity.
While COVID-19 is still prevalent, all Tower Health physician practices are following recommended safety measures to maintain a clean and safe environment. All medical staff members and patients wear a face mask. The number of patients in the office at the same time is limited and waiting room furniture has been positioned to encourage distancing. All patients are screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the office. We are not currently allowing “walk-in” patients.
Patients can also use virtual visits as an alternative to in-person appointments. These can include follow-up care, urgent care, or select appointments for new patients. Scheduled virtual visits are available with a Tower Health Medical Group Physician or Advanced Practice Provider (APP). On-demand care is available 24/7 with a Tower Health Urgent Care physician or APP through Virtual Care by Teladoc Health (TDH). These telephone or video visits are a very useful tool for physicians to assess patient conditions without bringing you to the office. It is particularly relevant to vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions who are at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Maintaining a relationship with a primary care physician is key for protecting good health during the pandemic, along with wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding crowded places, and proper hand hygiene. Following these simple steps can reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 and any other viral or bacterial infection.
If you or a loved one has symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, extreme dizziness, or inability to walk, call 9-1-1 immediately for evaluation and treatment in an emergency department.
Dr. Fleischer is available for media interviews.
About Brandywine Hospital
Located in Chester County, Pa., and a member of Tower Health, Brandywine Hospital is a nonprofit, 171-bed acute-care hospital with private rooms that has been providing high-quality, compassionate care in the community for more than 100 years. The hospital's key services include cardiology, emergency medicine, orthopedics, behavioral health (adult, older adult), general and robotic surgery, specialized care for eating disorders, and outpatient services (radiology/women's imaging, laboratory, cardio-pulmonary, occupational, physical and speech therapy, primary care, and wound care). Fully accredited by The Joint Commission, Brandywine Hospital is also an accredited Chest Pain Center by the American Academy of Cardiology and the recipient of The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for excellence in acute myocardial infarction, hip replacement, knee replacement, stroke, and wound care. For more information, visit www.brandywine.towerhealth.org.