Released: 4/8/2020 9:20:16 AM
With all the focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of fear and anxiety has taken hold of us all. Much of that related to our daily healthcare needs. Will I still be able to get my prescriptions? Do I keep my wellness exam? Do I need to stock up on over-the-counter medications? If I have an emergency, is it safe to go to the emergency department?
We spoke with Thomas Hughes, MD, chief medical officer for Optimum Physician Alliance, about what you need to know.
“The most important thing to know is that we’re open and are still here for you. You were our patient last year before this pandemic, and you will be a year from now,” he said. “We will still see you if you’re sick, care for you if there’s an emergency and fill your prescriptions. Although the way we interact with you in the current environment may change a bit, we will still make sure everyone has their health needs met, just as we always do.”
Kaleida Health and its partners in the community are constantly evolving new ways to care for their patients during this time. Telemedicine, for example, has begun to launch across the organization as a way to interface directly with patients safely. This ensures patients still receive all the care they need during this time.
“Just because we are physically distancing, doesn’t mean we are disconnected. Through technology, our patients actually have more access to us, and we can continue our connection to them,” Hughes said.
As for surgeries, though elective surgeries are postponed for now, all emergent surgeries are still happening each day.
“Hearing that elective surgeries are postponed creates a fear in many people. We have restricted surgeries, but people who truly need surgery now for life-threatening conditions, we’re still getting that done for our patients,” said Hughes. “For elective surgeries, once it is safe we will start doing those again. We won’t forget about you. We have a plan,” he added.
Hughes ended with, “Yes there’s a whole team preparing for and working through the COVID-19 crisis, and we are ready for it. But, for all the routine needs of our patients, we are still here; the specialists are still here. It’s going to look a little different but we are going to go through this together.”