MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine is growing increasingly concerned as patients are failing to show up for appointments, canceling and or failing to schedule doctor visits because of CVOID-19 fears.
“We’re seeing a fair number of patients cancel their visits,” WVU Medicine Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Edmond said. “Some of that may be due to the weather.”
Regardless, Edmond said, patients need to know that most of the staff at all hospitals within the WVU Hospital System, whether in West Virginia or the surrounding regions, have received their COVID-19 vaccinations. This means that most staff at all WVU Medicine clinics, hospitals, small offices, etc. are fully inoculated.
Plus, he said, there are many safety measures in place at every WVU Medicine facility to ensure the safety of patients.
“We’re ready to take care of patients,” he said.
Now, patients just have to do their part and make it to appointments because, if not, they could damaging their health.
“A lot of diseases will progress if they’re not treated, so we want patients to see their physicians, or see their providers in a timely fashion,” Edmond said. “They should continue to think of it as it’s time to go to the doctor, and we’re here to provide that service for them.”
Patients missing appointments is especially concerning, Edmond said, in a state like West Virginia where many citizens struggle from chronic illnesses that need treatment.
“We know that in West Virginia we have lots of patients who have high blood pressure and diabetes, or elevated cholesterol,” Edmond said. “Those are all conditions that you want to make sure that you are staying on top of so that you don’t get any complications with them.”
Even if knowing all of this does not encourage some patients to physically go to doctor’s appointments, there are other options. The chief medical officer said telemedicine is a big part of what WVU Medicine does these days, so there is a workaround possible.
“We are offering both telephone visits and video visits,” Edmond said. “Video visits can be done with your mobile phone, so we’re actually able to see you when we’re doing the visit. We have those options available for patients if they’re not physically able to come in and see their provider.”