Are patients delaying care? We are seeing a decline in appointments similar to national trends since the pandemic started. This might vary based on essential workers versus employees who are working remotely. Since April, appointments have been increasing as businesses reopen, but we are still seeing gaps in routine care such as blood work. Especially for patients with underlying chronic conditions, we believe that continuation of care is important to emphasize along with virtual health coaching visits.
Patient engagement and safety is of the utmost importance to us. At Marathon Health, we work diligently to make sure our health centers and patient interactions are as safe and convenient as possible in an effort to encourage patients not to delay or defer their care. Throughout this blog, we will highlight the specific health center practices we are using to keep patients safe. Our hope is that with these measures in place, patients will feel comfortable entering our health centers to receive the care they need.
We start by requiring providers to complete a COVID-19 symptom screening and self-attestation form every day. We have also increased patient screening, including when they make appointments, arrive at our health centers, and at the front desk.
Within the Health Center
In the health centers, we ask that everyone practice social distancing and wear masks. Recently, we kicked off our #MHmaskselfie Instagram campaign encouraging the use of masks to slow the spread of COVID-19. To reduce patient overlap, we have added more time between appointments and separate ill visits from well visits by both space and time. In addition, center staff disinfect all surfaces between visits to avoid any contaminated surfaces. We offer ‘stand with care’ floor decals to encourage and remind patients to remain at least six feet apart.
Our priority is on reducing delayed care and the worsening of non-COVID risk factors through regular outreach and communications, especially for those living with chronic conditions or other risks. We want to make sure patients know that we are there for them and support them in getting the care they need. We will continue to emphasize this through email communications, flyers, and campaigns for patients.
As patients return to the health center, we want to ensure both their comfort and their safety. To learn more about our approach for bringing patients back into the health center, download our Pandemic Response eBook.