Healthcare Providers Concerned Many Are Delaying Or Cancelling Screenings & Appointments Due To Covid Concerns

Thu 9-3-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- Area healthcare providers say they're concerned many people are either delaying or canceling altogether screenings and appointments due to concern over COVID-19.

Dr. Andrew Mueting of Lakes Regional Family Medicine tells KUOO news not following through with those screenings and appointments could actually put you more at risk should you actually contract COVID-19...Dr. Mueting01 

"Covid is not going away anytime soon as far as we can tell, but yet we still need to do our cancer screenings, our cardiovascular screenings, our chronic disease management, and have our children followed up for their development. Those are ongoing issues that are really important to individual health but also to public health in general. And so we just encourage people to continue to utilize our services here at the clinic." 

Dr. Mueting adds having a chronic condition and not staying on top of it can also have severe consequences...Dr. Mueting02 

"Cancers are a big diagnosis; heart failure is a big diagnosis; uncontrolled diabetes is something that we're concerned about. And all of these things are happening right now because people are nervous about coming into the doctor. The clinic and the hospital is probably one of the safest places to be right now just because of all of the precautions we're taking and we want to see these people to prevent, you know, worsening symptoms long term." 

He says virtual visits are also an option for patients...Dr. Mueting03 

"Telemedicine capabilities, too, so even if, you know, people are nervous to come in to the clinic or wanting to just talk to the doctor we can do a virtual visit as long as you have a smart phone or a laptop with a camera. So we can do a lot virtually. Really it's great to see people in person. We can do so much more here in the clinic and we just encourage people to come see us. We have the new clinic that we're moving into here in the next week or so, and we're just really stressing the importance of ongoing health management for our community."

Dr. Mueting says a number of safety protocols are in place at the Lakes Regional Healthcare campus including screening everyone who comes in; face masks are required to be worn by everyone; surfaces are disinfected after each patient encounter; social distancing is practiced as much as possible and rigorous cleaning and other disinfecting protocols are in place throughout the facility.