DMS health care providers urge residents not to skip doctor visits

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As concerns about the pandemic continue to hover over our heads, doctors in the Santa Clarita Valley are urging patients to no longer postpone some of their medical appointments.

During the pandemic, not only were many elective procedures and appointments put on hold as hospitals struggled to deal with the increase in COVID-19 patients, but also many patients were nervous about s ‘venture into health establishments.

Doctors quickly responded by introducing telehealth medical appointments that allowed patients to address health issues by phone or video.

“In an abundance of security due to the COVID-19 crisis, many patients have opted for virtual care rather than face-to-face,” said Dr Stephen De Vita, Kaiser’s medical director and chief of staff Permanent Panorama City Medical Center. Region. “As a result, we have invested heavily in honoring the wishes of our patients by implementing a virtual care program that allows us to continue to provide them with access to the care they want, when and where they need it.

But while most healthcare providers never closed their doors, continuing to see patients in every way possible, they still saw a significant drop in in-person visits.

Since then things have started to return to normal and people have started to feel more comfortable with the idea of ​​going back to their doctors, although there is still some evidence of mistrust in the idea to go to a doctor.

At Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, emergency department medical director Dr Bud Lawrence said the volume on the ward had not yet returned to pre-COVID levels.

“Our numbers are not where they were before COVID, which is very telling that there is an underlying cause for concern about the entry,” Lawrence said. “People, for whatever reason, don’t necessarily come to the emergency room for illnesses or conditions they would otherwise have before COVID.”

This has raised concerns within the medical community that patients are delaying care for urgent medical conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes, Lawrence added.

“These are things that we have amazing treatments for and we can do great things for, but unless patients show up in the right window, we are severely limited in our ability to help,” Lawrence said.

UCLA Health, on the other hand, is a bit busier than usual, said Dr Ramya Malchira, chief medical officer at UCLA Health’s primary and specialist care clinic in the Valencia office, noting that many patients are returning. for their annual health maintenance. visits.

“Those who failed their annual physical exams last year are trying to catch up right now, so it’s getting back to normal, which is great… (because) those exams are extremely important,” said Malchira.

It is during these visits that patients receive their age-appropriate cancer screening, such as a mammogram or colonoscopy, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol screenings, and blood tests. depression and anxiety, which Malchira says are particularly important now that these conditions have seen an upward trend during the pandemic.

For those who are still afraid to come, telemedicine is still an option and a good place to start, Malchira noted, adding that it allows doctors to do an assessment and begin care when they are ready to come. anybody.

Kaiser, Henry Mayo and UCLA Health all said there is no non-COVID-related health care pending at their facilities, but patients could be delayed as there is now a backlog of access. taking care.

Even so, Lawrence urges patients to come for visits, as he is safe to do so, noting, “At this point there really should be no hesitation… (because) we have a growing understanding of COVID, and we have strong safety protocols in place to ensure that if you need to come for treatment it can be done safely. ”

UCLA Health has even seen an increase in the number of patients seeking an earlier-than-usual flu shot, as well as a number of patients seeking information regarding COVID-19 booster vaccines, Malchira said.

“At Kaiser Permanente, we stress the importance for you and your family to see your doctor for wellness visits, acute illness visits and to receive all recommended vaccines to protect yourself and stay as healthy as possible. , especially during the upcoming flu season and a possible future. COVID-19 is increasing, ”added De Vita.

As of October 10, 78.9% of residents of the city of Santa Clarita had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 74.9% of residents of the SCV had done so, according to data from the Department of the Los Angeles County Public Health.

While most residents of the SCV have been vaccinated at this point, Malchira is still urging more to get vaccinated.

“Now is not the time to be complacent,” added Malchira. “With the holidays approaching, we have to protect ourselves, our neighbors, our families, the children who are not old enough to be vaccinated – it is really important to get the vaccine.”

Malchira is also urging those who have doubts or questions about the COVID-19 vaccine to contact their health care provider to discuss their condition.

As concerns about the pandemic continue to hover over our heads, doctors in the Santa Clarita Valley are urging patients to no longer postpone some of their medical appointments.

During the pandemic, not only were many elective procedures and appointments put on hold as hospitals struggled to deal with the increase in COVID-19 patients, but also many patients were nervous about s ‘venture into health establishments.

Doctors quickly responded by introducing telehealth medical appointments that allowed patients to address health issues by phone or video.

“In an abundance of security due to the COVID-19 crisis, many patients have opted for virtual care rather than face-to-face,” said Dr Stephen De Vita, Kaiser’s medical director and chief of staff Permanent Panorama City Medical Center. Region. “As a result, we have invested heavily in honoring the wishes of our patients by implementing a virtual care program that allows us to continue to provide them with access to the care they want, when and where they need it. “

But while most healthcare providers never closed their doors, continuing to see patients in every way possible, they still saw a significant drop in in-person visits.

Since then things have started to return to normal and people have started to feel more comfortable with the idea of ​​going back to their doctors, although there is still some evidence of reluctance to go. to a doctor.

At Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, emergency department medical director Dr Bud Lawrence said the volume on the ward had not yet returned to pre-COVID levels.

“Our numbers are not where they were before COVID, which is very telling that there is an underlying cause for concern about the entry,” Lawrence said. “People, for whatever reason, don’t necessarily come to the emergency room for illnesses or conditions they would otherwise have before COVID.”

This has raised concerns within the medical community that patients are delaying care for urgent medical conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes, Lawrence added.

“These are things that we have amazing treatments for and we can do great things for, but unless patients show up in the right window, we are severely limited in our ability to help,” Lawrence said.

UCLA Health, on the other hand, is a bit busier than usual, said Dr Ramya Malchira, chief medical officer at UCLA Health’s primary and specialist care clinic in the Valencia office, noting that many patients are returning for their annual health maintenance. visits.

“Those who failed their annual physical exams last year are trying to catch up right now, so it’s getting back to normal, which is great… (because) those exams are extremely important,” said Malchira.

It is during these visits that patients receive their age-appropriate cancer screening, such as a mammogram or colonoscopy, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol screens, and blood tests. depression and anxiety, which Malchira says are particularly important now that these conditions have seen an upward trend during the pandemic.

For those who are still afraid to come, telemedicine is still an option and a good place to start, Malchira noted, adding that it allows doctors to do an assessment and begin care when they are ready to come. anybody.

Kaiser, Henry Mayo and UCLA Health all said there was no non-COVID-related healthcare pending at their facilities, but patients could be delayed as there is now a backlog of access. taking care.

Even so, Lawrence urges patients to come for visits, as he is safe to do so, noting, “At this point there really should be no hesitation… (because) we have a growing understanding of COVID, and we have strong safety protocols in place to ensure that if you need to come for treatment it can be done safely. “

UCLA Health has even seen an increase in the number of patients seeking an earlier-than-usual flu shot, as well as a number of patients seeking information regarding COVID-19 booster vaccines, Malchira said.

“At Kaiser Permanente, we stress the importance for you and your family to see your doctor for wellness visits, acute illness visits and to receive all recommended vaccines to protect yourself and stay as healthy as possible. , especially during this upcoming flu season and a possible future. COVID-19 is increasing, ”added De Vita.

As of October 10, 78.9% of residents of the city of Santa Clarita had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 74.9% of residents of the SCV had done so, according to data from the Department of the Los Angeles County Public Health.

While most residents of the SCV have been vaccinated at this point, Malchira is still urging more to get vaccinated.

“Now is not the time to be complacent,” added Malchira. “With the holidays approaching, we have to protect ourselves, our neighbors, our families, the children who are not old enough to be vaccinated – it is really important to get the vaccine.”

Malchira is also urging those who have doubts or questions about the COVID-19 vaccine to contact their health care provider to discuss their condition.


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