Many practices have shifted how they provide care by offering more phone and video visits. This is an opportunity to take care of simple problems and avoid unnecessary face-to-face visits. However, face-to-face visits are still necessary.
Clinical practices, emergency rooms and hospitals are safe and capable places to receive medical excellent care and health care services. For children and adults face-to-face visit may be needed to address new or developing symptoms, follow up chronic conditions or to avoid illness with preventive visits like well-child exams.
Many practices request a phone or video visit with a nurse or medical provider to determine if the condition requires an in-person visit. In non-emergent cases, an in person office visit also allows for a more complete exam than is available in a telehealth visit.
A condition that is severe or rapidly changing may warrant a visit to the emergency room where the clinical team can offer a complete examination and may order laboratory tests or imaging. Delaying care for severe or rapidly changing symptoms can have dire results.
In-person visits, permit your health care team to ensure that preventive treatments like vaccines for children and adults as well as cancer screening for adults can stay current. While we use social distancing to avoid the coronavirus, we must continue to prevent other infections such as measles, whooping cough and meningitis.