Urgent care seeing decline in patients

Urgent care seeing decline in patients

MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - Many questions continue to surround coronavirus, one being - “Is it safe to see a doctor right now for everyday, non-COVID problems?”

This concern has impacted patients nationwide and right here in North Alabama, particularly at the American Family Care Medical Center in Madison.

“I’ve heard a lot of patients reaching out and sharing concerns that they are scared,” says nurse practitioner Julie Knop. “They’re scared to come in to the clinic setting. They’re scared of being exposed to coronavirus.”

That fear has caused activity at the center to decrease, meaning patients with critical conditions aren’t coming in to get the care they need.

“We’re forgetting that these diabetics or people with heart disease, heart conditions... Any chronic condition - cholesterol, something that requires a daily medication... These people still need to have routine laboratories drawn and sent out. They still need refills on their medication,” says Knop. “We don’t want them to be scared to come into our clinic for primary care type needs.”

To assuage concerns and help prevent the spread of the virus, AFC Medical Center is taking strict precaution.

“We designated certain rooms in each clinic as a ‘Well Patient’ room," says Knop. “So, say you’re coming in and you’re here because you need your labs drawn and you need refills, those rooms have been designated since the beginning of this COVID pandemic for those patients... We do want to reassure our patients that when they are coming in that they’re not just coming behind somebody who has been tested for coronavirus."

For those who are still concerned about heading in, AFC Medical Center also provides telecare options.

They also welcome any calls with questions or concerns about coronavirus.

“If there’s something we can do, if they need to pick up a phone, ask a question, how we do our policies, we like that,” says Knop. “If we can offer reassurance, that’s the best way to get people comfortable to come in.”

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