The importance of continuing to manage a chronic condition during a pandemic

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been stressed that the people most at risk for hospitalization and complications from the disease are people with underlying conditions. For this reason, people with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension or other health issues should be especially meticulous about social distancing and other protective measures.

But unfortunately, the protective guidance has led some of these patients to delay routine care out of fear of contracting COVID-19. While these fears are valid and understandable, delaying medical needs can cause health issues down the road and result in a trip to the emergency room that could have been prevented. Many physicians are concerned about a second wave of deaths caused by the delay of healthcare as opposed to the disease itself.

Safe treatment options during COVID-19

While it is essential that you continue to manage any chronic conditions with help from your primary care doctor or specialist, we recognize that this is an unprecedented time, bringing uncertainty and unease – especially regarding visiting a medical facility. That’s why we are providing you with more options to stay in touch with your doctor.

  • Primary care physicians and medical specialists – Many of our physicians now offer the option for a video visit if your appointment does not require in-person treatment
  • Care Navigator – Our online healthcare triage tool will connect you with a virtual provider 24/7 if appropriate for your condition
  • Nurses On-Call – Talk to a registered nurse 24/7 free of charge at 318-769-4440.

However, in-person medical visits may still be necessary. You may have severe symptoms or require a physical exam, test or time-sensitive procedure. If you need to be seen in person, rest assured that your safety is our top priority.

There is a perception that healthcare facilities are sources of exposure and contamination of COVID-19, but that is not the case. Medical clinics and hospitals have extensive safety measures in place to prevent infectious disease from spreading.

At Rapides Regional Medical Center, some of the precautions we are taking include:

  • Screening processes are in place for all patients, visitors and clinicians before entering facilities. This includes taking everyone’s temperature.
  • Universal masking is required throughout our facilities, which exceeds CDC guidelines. All visitors, along with hospital personnel are required to wear a mask while on hospital property.
  • We are happy to announce we have recently updated our visitation policy to allow one dedicated visitor per duration of the patient’s hospital stay.
  • Heightened infection prevention policies instituted, including the removal of high-touch items such as magazines and toys in our facilities.
  • Prohibiting food and drinks in clinical units to prevent the spread of illness.
  • We have a separate location for COVID-19 positive patients and those who are under investigation. These patients are masked and escorted to designated locations.

Helping you stay healthy during COVID

It is more important than ever to effectively manage any chronic conditions and keep your immune system strong. Be sure to:

  • Follow your prescribed regimen to help control any chronic conditions
  • Come in for regularly scheduled medical appointments
  • Continue to take prescribed medications
  • Don’t ignore health concerns
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for protection against the virus
  • Don’t delay necessary medical procedures

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