The COVID-19 virus has changed so many things in such a short time — one of them is doctor’s visits. If you haven’t visited a doctor’s office since the COVID-19 pandemic began, be prepared to encounter many changes.
Doctor’s Offices Are Taking More Precautions
When you visit OrthoBethesda, you will notice changes from our old check-in format. We encourage social distancing in the waiting area and require patients and staff to wear masks. We use temperature and symptom screenings for patients and clean our waiting areas and exam rooms frequently and thoroughly.
We will request that anyone escorting you to your appointment wait in the car.
Many Physicians Offer Telemedicine Options
Bringing fewer people in the office provides one way to control the spread of the disease. Instead of having patients attend doctor visits, we can treat many individuals using telemedicine. We use conferencing apps to connect us with patients, which helps during routine appointments such as surgical follow-ups. During a telemedicine appointment, we can:
- Answer questions from patients.
- See post-surgical wounds and determine if they are healing.
- Discuss your medical history.
Of course, not all medical concerns can be handled virtually. You will still need to come to the office for a physical exam or other procedures, such as X-rays.
Increased Digital Communication
Communication is more important than ever, with all the changes taking place at your doctor’s office. You can expect more communication before and after your appointment. We may send you notifications about any changes related to the COVID-19 virus or update our availability. If your escort is waiting outside of our office, they are able to attend your visit virtually using an app such as FaceTime.
Faster Check-Ins and Appointments
The faster we can move you into the exam room, the less time you spend around other people. While implementing social distancing in the waiting room and using temperature screenings can be effective, the best way to control the coronavirus spread is to minimize time spent around others.
We will send a link to allow you to check-in electronically before your appointment. This will get you through the waiting room more quickly. Your physician will still spend time with you and answer all your questions. While we want to minimize contact, your health still remains our top priority, and we won’t compromise on providing your care.
When Should COVID-19 Patients Visit a Doctor?
The only time you should visit a doctor if you have or suspect you have COVID-19 is if you have discussed your symptoms with the office and received the OK to visit. If you are going for a routine visit, you will likely be told to reschedule. You don’t want to spread the virus, and even with the new precautions in place, you should avoid being around other people. Cancel your appointments if you have any doubts.