Reigniting Primary Care

When COVID-19 changed the world, OSF changed as well.

by Laura Nightengale, OSF HealthCare
If you delayed getting medical care due to the pandemic, a primary care provider can help you get your health back on track.
If you delayed getting medical care due to the pandemic, a primary care provider can help you get your health back on track.

There’s no denying COVID-19 changed the world. The pandemic forced us to change the way we do things like shop for groceries, how we interact with friends and family, and the ways in which our businesses operate. It’s also changed the way OSF HealthCare approaches the delivery of care. 

Increased Safety Precautions 
While health and safety have always been priorities at OSF, the novel coronavirus meant we all needed to be extra-careful to stop the spread of germs. This meant: 

  • Arranging waiting rooms to allow for physical distancing.
  • Changing our visitor guidelines.
  • Requiring face masks in all facilities.
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Screening all patients, visitors and mission partners—and separating those who may be contagious from others.
  • Using digital tools, such as online screening and video visits, to allow for easy access to care with minimal risk.

Safe To See Your Doctor
Many of us cancelled or postponed events during the pandemic, from birthdays and graduations to surgeries and medical appointments. If you delayed medical care, or if you stayed home out of fear that your underlying health condition could put you at greater risk, a primary care provider can help get your health—and your life—back on track.

A primary care provider (PCP) can see you when you’re sick. They can also help keep you healthy with preventive care and help you manage chronic health conditions like asthma, COPD or diabetes. Other services you can expect from a PCP include:  

  • Advance care planning
  • Care coordination
  • Chronic disease management
  • Counseling
  • Diagnostics and labs
  • Health risk assessments
  • Immunizations
  • Prenatal care
  • Preventive care
  • Annual checkups and well-care visits; and
  • School/sports physicals and screenings.

New Options for Care
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated change at OSF. One of these changes is the expansion of telehealth services, or healthcare delivered digitally, rather than in person. OSF offers telehealth options for many appointments, including visits with primary care providers and specialists. Video visits, also called virtual visits, are an easy and convenient way to stay connected to healthcare, wherever you are. 

If you already have a provider, you can schedule your next appointment as a video visit. All you need is an OSF MyChart account. Video visits might be a beneficial option for back pain; chronic disease management, such as high blood pressure or diabetes; flu, cold or allergy; follow-up visits; general health questions; medication management; mental health issues or questions; pediatric fever or advice; rashes and other skin problems; smoking cessation; sports injuries and more.

Get the care you need in the right place, at the right time, so you can live a full and healthy life. Find a provider near you at osfhealthcare.org. PM

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