Should I Wait to Reschedule Appointments After a Hurricane?
In the wake of a hurricane, you may be wondering if it’s better to reschedule your appointments or hold off until life settles down a bit more. While it may be difficult right now to make sure your office visits are back on track, it’s essential that you don’t delay your healthcare.
It may seem relatively harmless to skip your annual appointments, but preventative care can help you catch small issues early through routine screenings. Catching these small issues early before they turn into bigger issues is essential in reducing your overall cost of healthcare as ignoring symptoms can lead to ER visits, hospitalization and extensive specialty care.
Preventative care appointments and procedures may include, but are not limited to, colonoscopies, Pap smears, prostate exams, mammograms and immunization vaccines.
If you have a young child, it is especially important that you stay in touch with your pediatrician to catch up on any missed well-child visits or vaccinations. Childhood vaccinations are essential to help your child build immunity and prevent disease from occurring, and well-child checkups allow your care team to ensure that your child is growing and developing appropriately.
If you have a chronic condition, it’s especially important that you carefully manage your health by maintaining your regularly scheduled appointments. Allowing chronic conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes to go unmonitored can result in heart attack, stroke, kidney damage or other complications, which may require emergent care. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, it is essential that you maintain contact with your healthcare provider throughout a natural disaster and recovery efforts so you can manage all prescription medication needs.
If you are cannot make it into your doctor’s office, Ochsner’s Digital Medicine Program helps patients manage their chronic conditions from home while staying connected to a dedicated care team. These include a Hypertension Digital Medicine Program and a Diabetes Digital Medicine Program.
Additionally, you can have a virtual visit with a primary or specialty care provider securely via your smartphone or tablet through the MyChart app. Virtual visits with the MyChart app give you the experience of your traditional office visit without ever leaving home or work, allowing us to serve you without sacrificing convenience. To learn more about whether a virtual visit is right for you, kindly contact your provider for more information.
As always, in case of a life-threatening emergency, you must seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible. It’s important that you don’t attempt to “ride out” severe illness or pain at home, as delaying care can put you at increased risk and could adversely affect outcomes.
There are many reasons you might want to avoid delaying care, particularly when addressing essential and time-sensitive healthcare conditions such as cancer, cardiac and neurologic care. Ultimately, putting off attention to your health is not an effective or safe healthcare strategy.
If you are struggling to access your doctor during hurricane season, Ochsner Anywhere Care can provide you with a private, secure video appointment with an urgent care or behavioral health provider. You can then get a diagnosis and treatment plan without needing to leave your location. Ochsner Anywhere Care is available in all 50 states.
If you have missed an appointment and can return to your regular clinic and care providers, you can schedule your next appointment by visiting MyOchsner. Thank you for trusting Ochsner with your care; your health is our priority.