Do not neglect your health. Make a promise to reach out to your doctor. We are here for you.

We Are Here For You

Do not neglect your health. Make a promise to reach out to your doctor.

Social distancing and isolation have taken a toll on patients’ mental and physical health and daily functioning.  Many of you – and especially those of you who are over the age of 65 – have neglected your health.

As the healthcare system begins to re-open to routine medical care, our country braces for a secondary healthcare crisis.  Those who have had medical care disrupted during the quarantine could have a relapse in illness or new complications.

But with challenges come opportunities.  Now, there are new and innovative ways you can connect with your primary care physician.  Independent physician practices from 83 cities and towns across the country have created a campaign urging patients to reach out.  From Austin, Texas to Buffalo, New York, they put together this video and website to send a message: “We are Here for You!”

These ten medical practices, like-minded in their commitment to primary care excellence, are sharing their passion and belief that, now more than ever, the primary care physician-patient relationship is the key to sustaining long term health.

Austin Regional Clinic Buffalo Medical Group
Capital Medical Clinic Central Ohio Primary Care
Physicians Group of Southeastern Ohio Pioneer Physicians Network
Preferred Primary Care Physicians Premier Family Physicians
PriMED Physicians Wilmington Health

Services Available From Your PCP To Keep you Safe AND WELL

This website serves as a resource for you to understand the importance of an open line of communication with your doctor – even during times of isolation.  It also offers opportunities to learn from doctors about new, expanded access and services - such as telehealth - that will help provide quality care to patients going forward.

Services will vary by practice, but call your PCP and inquire about:

  • Telehealth visits from home, with both audio-visual and audio-only capabilities
  • Drive-In services which allow you to video chat with your PCP from the safety of your car, if you don’t have the technology at home
  • After-hours access to virtual visits to help you avoid trips to the ER or urgent care center, whenever possible
  • Select office locations dedicated to well patients
  • Dedicated morning appointment hours dedicated to well patients
  • Virtual Annual Wellness Visits
  • Drive-by COVID-19 testing centers
  • Virtual care navigation services for those patients who need it

COVID-19 Symptoms

Those with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Check the CDC website for more information.

Get started with the CDC Coronavirus Symptom Self-Checker, a tool to help you decide when to seek testing and medical care.

When to seek emergency medical attention

CDC recommends that if someone shows any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately. NOTE: This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Call 911 immediately. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Take these steps to slow the spread.

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others. Wearing a mask helps reduce the risk of spread both by close contact and by airborne transmission.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Stay home and isolate yourself from others when sick.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Patient Resources

Communicate with your primary care physician

  • Do not delay the necessary medical care over the fear of COVID-19. Delay may cause a mild health condition to become a severe illness and may result in worsened long-term health consequences.
  • Many physicians offer telehealth visits, and patients of all ages love them! Check with your doctor to see if telehealth visits are available.
  • Communicate with your doctor or nurse by phone or even email.
  • Talk to your primary care doctor about any upcoming tests or procedures.
  • If you must visit the doctor in-person, call first to understand their new policies.
  • If you think you are sick, call the office first, and follow their guidance.

Take your medications

  • Continue to take your medications as prescribed. Do not put yourself at risk by reducing or skipping doses. Call your primary care physician if you have any questions about your medications or side effects.
  • Ask your doctor and pharmacist for a larger supply of your medicines. 90-day mail-order supplies are commonly available and convenient. Call your health plan to enroll in these services.  
  • Limit in-person visits to the pharmacy. Pick up all your prescriptions at once.
  • Call prescription orders in ahead of time. Use drive-thru windows, curbside services, mail-order, or other delivery services. 

Make a Commitment to Wellness 

Primary care physicians are committed to ensuring patients get the very best of care and don't miss any critical visits during this time of social distancing. Many practices have arranged to conduct a wellness visit virtually in order to limit the potential for exposure and would like to connect with patients in the comfort and safety of their homes.  Below is a list of items that could be addressed as part of a virtual visit.

  • Review and update of medical and family history
  • Reconciliation of medications
  • Review of specialists and providers providing care
  • Measurement of height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, other medically necessary routine measurements as we are able
  • Review of preventative screenings
  • Review of risk factors for depression
  • Review of treatment options which may improve health and quality of life
  • Review of functional ability and the activities of daily living
  • Recommendation of health education or specific disease management programs

Services Which Are Available Virtually

  • Discussing any new symptoms that may be emerging
  • Reviewing or renewing regular medications
  • Examining any changes in chronic conditions
  • Reviewing any risk factors for depression
  • Discussing and addressing lifestyle changes in diet or exercise that could affect health
  • Reviewing treatment options available remotely which may improve health and quality of life
  • Reviewing functional ability and basic tasks of daily living
  • Recommending health education or specific disease management programs

Stay connected

Talk with your family, friends, and loved ones. Reach out to each other more often. Ask simple questions like, "How are you doing?" "How can I support you?" sincerely wanting to know the answers.

People who are over age 60 are at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19. Older people may experience increased anxiety and fear over the COVID-19, and feel even more alone and disconnected during this time. Keep in touch through phone calls, texting, or video chats.

More people are helping others in their communities while practicing social distancing- help to buy groceries for the elderly, write a letter, or make artwork for a neighbor. Practicing acts of kindness and compassion will help you feel connected to your community.

Find a new routine

Changes in routine can be stressful. When life is uncertain, routines can help us to cope with changes, reduce anxiety, and provide comfort. Decide what is doable and try to stick to the new routine as much as possible. One small and easy way to establish a daily structure is to wake up around the same time.

Carve out time for yourself

We all need to carve out some time for ourselves, and what that looks like is different for everyone. Whether taking a walk or run outside while keeping social distancing, meditation, reading, or even watching a movie, making time much-needed respite will allow us to prevail in the present crisis.

Establish boundaries

As many workers across the country transition to remote working, boundaries are critical. Be open and honest with your colleagues about what you need and when you need it. Talk about potential challenges working from home and decide what conversations truly warrant a video call. Decide on normal working hours. Set expectations around response time to emails. 

Recognize when you need more help

It is OK to need more help than you can give yourself. What we are going through is unprecedented. Your anxiety or worry – or whatever you are feeling – may be getting in the way of your daily life. Reach out to your HR or Employee Assitance Program. An increasing number of mental health professionals offer telehealth video calls with patients. Help is here if you need it.

Be grateful

Hope and gratitude are powerful. We still have so much to be grateful right now. We know this pandemic is temporary. Think about what positive things will come out of when this is over. Perhaps we realize how important self-care is to our well-being. Perhaps we will appreciate our connections with each other.