The COVID-19 pandemic changed life for all of us, and it also significantly changed healthcare. For patients, it created a new atmosphere of fear and worry. A trip to the emergency room is always scary, but the pandemic heightened these fears. Many patients began putting off essential care because they were afraid to contract COVID-19. The CDC estimates that about four in ten adults in the United States avoided medical care because of concerns related to the pandemic. While this hesitancy is understandable, we want patients to know that it is safe to go to the emergency room.
Cost of delaying care
Delaying care can be detrimental to your health. Sometimes, waiting a day or two to visit your doctor for allergies is okay. During the pandemic, people were not just delaying routine care like annual exams. Sometimes, the fear of the emergency room kept patients with serious conditions away. Some doctors reported seeing patients who had heart attacks and didn’t come to the emergency room until they had significant heart damage. Stories like these have been some of the greatest tragedies of the pandemic.
Many of these situations became catastrophic but could have been avoided or mitigated. Emergency room clinicians want you to get the care you need when you need it. But we also know that your fear is real. Knowing this, we still urge you to seek medical care if you are sick or injured because emergency rooms are safe.
If you are sick or hurt, don’t put off getting the care you need.”Dr. Peter Kah, Regional Medical Director, Emergency Medicine, TeamHealth Southeast Group
Emergency rooms are safe
While the pandemic has been tragic, it has also provided opportunities to learn and grow. As clinicians, we’ve been able to apply what we’ve learned to keep patients safe. The knowledge gained during COVID-19 has led to safer hospitals. Particularly, this is seen in our heightened infection control practices. Emergency rooms have always been safe, but now, we have extra precautions and knowledge to make them even safer.
Not only is it a safe place to come, it’s safer than it’s ever been, because the knowledge that we’ve gleaned from the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to be safer in general by our infection control practices.”Dr. Richard Cardosi, Facility Medical Director, Emergency Medicine, Decatur County Memorial Hospital
Emergency rooms are the first line of defense in communities, and we take that responsibility seriously. Our teams practice universal precautions and are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of communicable diseases, meaning we are prepared for any crisis. Through the years spent training and lessons we’ve learned, we’re here to give you the best care possible.
How TeamHealth is keeping emergency rooms safe
Many of the protocols implemented at the beginning of the pandemic are still in place. That means our clinicians continue to follow CDC recommendations and wear appropriate PPE depending on the patient’s conditions. Patients who have COVID-19 continue to be protected and isolated from other patients to prevent the spread of disease. Not only does this allow us to keep everyone safe, but it also helps us diagnose patients faster and begin treating them sooner.
Also, our Emerging Infectious Disease Task Force continues to focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19. With experts in hospital medicine, emergency medicine and infectious disease, the task force keeps all our approximately 16,000 clinicians updated on the latest innovations and best practices. The team tracks infection rates, treatments, vaccines and research to help our clinicians provide the highest quality care possible.
Finally, we have emphasized the importance of vaccines since they first became available. Our clinicians have led with their shoulders from the start. Vaccination helps keep our patients, families, colleagues and communities safe.
It’s important to remember that fear is not everything. There’s room for hope in our environment as well.”Dr. Jassin Jouria, Emergency Medicine, Decatur County Memorial Hospital
Emergency medicine teams are here for you
Emergency rooms are safe and ready to take care of you. We know that fear is powerful. But emergency medicine teams are innovative and dedicated to providing the highest quality care. Please don’t delay your healthcare. We’re here for you.
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