Preventive Care During the Pandemic | WYPR

Preventive Care During the Pandemic

Oct 26, 2020

Welcome back to ClearPath – Your Roadmap to Health and Wealth. I’m your host Al Waller.

And joining us today is Mihaela Vincze, the Program Specialist for the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies.

Now according to research from the Health Care Institute… Mammograms  are down nearly 80 percent in April 2020 compared to 2019, which raises the importance of preventive health services.

So beyond the obvious.Why are preventive services so critical?

Mihaela: Preventive services are important because they can help individuals catch potential problems before they become real ones. Mammograms, for instance, can detect breast cancer in individuals who have not shown any signs. By catching the breast cancer early, the patient is likely to receive a more manageable diagnosis, which can make a world of difference.

Al: Exactly and like that age old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Now for those who have reservations about going into a doctor’s office, how should they proceed?

Mihaela: There are safe options to get care while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Home-health monitoring and virtual office visits, also known as “telehealth” appointments, are becoming increasingly popular alternatives for in-office health visits.

Al: Good point, now can you walk us through precisely how home-health monitoring and tele-health appointments work?

Mihaela: Home-health monitoring is a practice used to inform an interaction with your doctor.  Performing self-breast examinations, for example, is a home-health monitoring effort which can provide individuals with valuable information to mention to their doctor. Although home-health monitoring is important, it should only inform, and not replace, medical guidance.

Al: Well that gives us a good sense of home-health monitoring, now can you explain how telehealth appointments work?

Mihaela: Sure, Telehealth is the use of technology, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services from the comfort of your home. Individuals can have their routine medical appointments with their health care providers through these devices, just as they would in real life. Although the pandemic has introduced some barriers to accessing in-office health visits, it is important to remember that routine dialogue with your health-care provider is your recipe for life-long health!

Al:You’re absolutely right, timely communication really is key.

Now, any additional thoughts for those interested in getting preventive care?

Mihaela: Your health needs should never be ignored, even during a pandemic. Stay updated on the available virtual and in-office options. Keep your regularly scheduled appointments, especially for screenings, immunizations, preventive care and chronic disease management. Your well-being is not optional—do not put your health on hold!

Al: Agreed.

Now, where can folks turn to learn more?

Mihaela: There are several great informational resources online for home-health monitoring, such as heart.org’s guide to “Monitoring your Blood Pressure at Home” and the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s guide to the “Breast Self-Exam.” To explore a list of available Telehealth Programs, visit the Health Resources & Services Administration’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth.

Al: Great points all around!

Well… thanks again for sharing & joining us today Mihaela.

And that’s all the time we have on ClearPath – Your Roadmap to Health & Wealth.

This is Al Waller on WYPR, your NPR News Station

Stay safe, be well, and thanks for listening.