Hospitals across Washington want to urge Washingtonians to seek timely medical care for non-COVID-related health issues. This includes care for new or chronic health conditions.
Hospitals and health care providers across the state are reporting abnormally low volumes of patients seeking routine medical care. But patients who have arrived at the hospital seeking care have been more severely ill. People are waiting to seek medical attention – and endangering themselves as a result.
“Life is on pause right now, but your health care needs are not,” WSHA President and CEO Cassie Sauer said. “Do not delay needed care – you could get worse. Hospitals and clinics are prepared to safely provide services and you should get care when you need it.”
Health care conditions that are left untreated can worsen, making them more difficult to treat, or even become life threatening. Many providers are offering virtual appointments, allowing patients to see their providers at home and determine if a physical visit to a hospital or clinic is necessary.
“We’ve heard that people are hesitant to call their providers because they are worried those providers might be too busy caring for COVID patients to care for them,” Sauer said. “We have a strong health care community that is here and ready to care for you, whether it’s for something COVID-related or not. Please do not wait until your situation is an emergency.”
Hospitals and clinics are making sure patients will be safe when they come in person. They are screening patients before they enter a facility, giving exam areas extra cleanings, physically distancing patients, masking patients and providers, and not having people wait for their appointment in a waiting room.