By Rauni Prittinen King, RN, MIH, Pacific Pearl La Jolla Executive Director
During the pandemic, we all spent less time with people in our lives, from family, friends, and co-workers to flight attendants and the servers at our favorite restaurants. But one of the connections that’s suffered the most is the important doctor-patient relationship. After this challenging year, many of our patients have told us that membership medicine is the best way to access high-quality, attentive care.
The trouble started in March 2020, when governors locked the country down to prevent coronavirus spread. By June 2020, more than 40% of U.S. adults had avoided or delayed medical care, including routine checkups, immunizations, non-emergency procedures, and cancer screenings.
Many people still haven’t found their way back to rescheduling important medical appointments.
The disconnect between patients and their physicians originated on both sides.
Hospitals and physicians’ offices canceled many appointments. They aimed to reserve providers’ time and the necessary personal protective equipment for COVID patients.
Patients, too, canceled visits. They listened to medical leaders’ warnings about staying home, and knew that COVID would be rampant in hospitals and medical offices. After all, they were hearing that coronavirus could lead to serious illness, potentially the loss of their jobs (and subsequently their health insurance).
Attentive healthcare continued 24/7 at Pacific Pearl La Jolla during COVID
Now that the country is opening up, we need to keep in mind that the pandemic is not over yet. We need to keep our activities limited and follow the guidelines by healthcare providers, WHO, and CDC (please resist advice provided by non-medical politicians).
At the Pacific Pearl La Jolla, our VIP Membership program kept our patients and providers connected. Most of the patient visits continued via telemedicine, text, and phone calls.
Members shared that they were in a state of shock and disbelief when the pandemic started. We were able to reassure them that we would be here for them at all times. Our clinic never closed.
We were able to COVID test our patients outside as needed and move them on to their treatment plan as needed. Our memberships grew when patients shared with their friends and other family members how much they were getting via our level of personalized, always-available, and safe healthcare.
As happens with our VIP Membership program even in non-pandemic periods, members new and old had access to their providers 24/7, which helped them avoid trips to emergency care and hospitalizations. They enjoyed our on-site lab, access to integrative treatments from conventional medicine as well as functional and naturopathic medicine. The found membership medicine is the best way to achieve their ideal health.
Today, COVID-19 isn’t the only health threat we’re facing. Putting off routine medical care is dangerous because it can lead to serious underlying health issues that have not been diagnosed or treated.
If you haven’t been keeping up with routine doctor appointments and screenings lately, here are some good reasons to get them scheduled soon:
“Routine” doesn’t mean unimportant. Preventive visits like physicals, coupled with the screenings and blood tests your doctor might order, are helpful for catching health issues before they become more serious. Many types of cancer are treatable if caught early, so cancer screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies shouldn’t be delayed too long. Because children develop at a faster rate than adults, their wellness visits are crucial and so is keeping them on a regular immunization schedule.
Chronic conditions won’t wait. People with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions need to be seen regularly by their doctor in order to monitor symptoms and tweak medications and their overall treatment plan.
Stress can affect your health, not just your mind. The stress of the pandemic, the stress of financial worries, the stress of not knowing what the future holds, the stress of medical concerns – these are all things that can cause irritability, depression, headaches, insomnia, and more. Unchecked stress can also lead to serious health conditions. Some current and chronic issues – both physical and mental – may be alleviated by visiting your doctor or talking to a therapist and explaining how you feel.
It’s safer now. At the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals and doctors’ offices were scrambling to enact safety measures as they tried to figure out the best ways to keep patients safe during their visits. A year later, the procedures are firmly set in place. If you’re still worried about any risk, ask your doctor about a virtual visit.
Telemedicine appointments are often a good alternative to seeing your doctor in person. They can be done while the patient is in isolation (like during COVID-19), traveling, moving to another part of the country or world. It gives continuing care and a safety net for those that are not eager to shop for a new healthcare provider. They will eliminate driving and parking, save time and allow one on one communication with the provider to ask questions, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual.
Will You Explore Why Membership Medicine Is the Best Path to Comprehensive Body-Mind-Spirit Health?
If you are interested in VIP membership or an appointment with a provider at Pacific Pearl La Jolla, please don’t hesitate to call 858-459-6919. Our reception team will get you quickly to the right providers. You can also use these buttons to reach out online.