As things have opened back up, patients are returning to their doctor’s office. It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, keeping patients out of the offices and potentially brushing priority medical concerns under the rug. Read below for information on what this looks like, how it could affect your practice, and how relying on Medly can help.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, patients were opting out of visits to their doctors for multiple reasons. For one, patients were fearful of contracting COVID-19 from a medical office or hospital. While some settled for remote appointments, others have abandoned the visits altogether.
Reports of crowded waiting rooms enforced this trepidation, which resulted in delayed diagnosis for some, or conditions left untreated for others. According to one recent study, there has been found to be an 80-90 percent drop in direct medical treatments such as colonoscopies. A health equity researcher at UCLA worries this has led to the down-playing of what were once high-priority health measures.
From this increase of potentially overlooked medical conditions and the appropriate treatments, health issues during the pandemic have been on the rise. Patients with a variety of health concerns are showing to be suffering from these skipped visits, like patients with glaucoma who have ceased taking their eye drops.
This concern extends outside of physicians’ offices. The American Dental Association (ADA) has provided research that shows a decline in other routine care methods like dental appointments. According to a survey from the ADA, the report shows a 70 percent surge of patients who grind and or clench their teeth since the start of the pandemic. In light of this, patients that are now beginning to meet with their doctors in person are just now addressing some of these pressing health concerns. Whether it is to address an urgent issue or return to a routine, trips to the doctor are picking up.
At Medly Pharmacy, we believe we are a simple extension of your office. We offer pharmacy consultations and patient education programs which help guide patients to the care that’s appropriate for them. Additionally, we help patients address any secondary needs like medication management and helping with medication adherence.
We can also assist with the logistic end of these procedures to save pharmacists and physicians time. Our coordinated care system is a thorough approach: we’ll help patients in figuring out what questions to ask before their appointments. Our facilitation here acts to take the burden off of the providers, and their staff, potentially offering more productive, efficient, and meaningful appointments with the patients.
Additionally, when patients have a better understanding of the reasons for their medication treatment and their medical condition overall, it leads to better provider patient relations. One study shows that when providers helped educate patients with diabetes about their disease, cholesterol levels, and systolic BP levels in such patients were significantly reduced. When a patient understands the symptoms and causes of their disease, the management can seem more accessible. Another study study showed the drastic effects of physician-pharmacist collaboration—improved communication.
At Medly, we work to garner a seamless consistency between the patient and the professionals who provide care for them. With us, the appointment time becomes more about the health of the patient instead of concerns that should be left up to another professional. Medly Pharmacy is not here to replace but to foster the patient and doctor relationship.
Resources: COVID-19 Impact on Dental Practices – ADA Health Policy Institute Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Public Health Dentists Effectiveness of a Pharmacist‐Physician Team‐Based Collaboration to Improve Long‐Term Blood Pressure Control at an Inner‐City Safety‐Net Clinic