With pandemic restrictions easing, as well as the wide availability of vaccines, people are restarting their lives in ways big and small. One area that the folks at Premera would like you to pay particular attention to is resuming regular check-ups with all your health care providers.
Dr. Steven Jacobson, medical director at Premera, said there are three areas that have been neglected during COVID:
- Chronic conditions: “That could be things like diabetes, or heart disease, or high blood pressure.”
- Wellness: “That could be things like going to the doctor for a regular checkup, and they could include things like screening for cholesterol or screening for a variety of cancers.”
- Vaccines: “We've all heard about the COVID vaccines, they've been in the news all the time, but there's other important vaccines as well, and many of us have put off getting our vaccines because of the pandemic.”
And while telehealth visits were in many ways actual lifesavers during the pandemic, some things are just better dealt with one-on-one. Providers are going to great lengths to ensure their offices are protected against COVID in hopes that patients will feel safe to return.
“I think our provider systems have done a great job of making the office as safe as possible,” Jacobson said. “I've been to my primary care provider once in the last six months, my dentist twice, and I would say both their offices were outstanding in terms of screening and masking and the protective equipment they're wearing.”
Still, expect telehealth to continue to be used more often going forward.
The key thing to remember as we start to take care of our general health again is to establish a primary care physician.
“All of us could benefit from that, whether it's a pediatrician or a family physician for our children, or a physician or a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant for ourselves.
“Make sure you have a good primary care provider. It just makes a world of difference.”