Are you afraid of visiting your doctor in 2020 too? Because I know I am. On top of being a public place, the hospital can be way more exposed to the virus than any other place. There is no doubt that taking precautions is very important with or without the virus, but the global crisis of COVID-19 has made it an absolute necessity.
I was having sharp stomachs for quite a few days now but I was afraid of visiting my Gastroenterologist because of the rising numbers of COVID-positive patients. But when the pain got out of hand, I looked up on the internet: which hospitals and Doctors in Lahore are taking precautionary measures during the pandemic? I found out some really renowned hospitals taking the right precautions which were really impressive.
Then I studied what precautions I should take as a patient visiting my doctor. And here is what I found
Before you book an appointment make sure you do your diligence, as in making sure how well the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure) given by the government, are being followed? How hygienic is the hospital and what are the sanitizing measures being taken? Is the social distancing being practiced by limiting the number of people in the area? Is the staff well equipped with the PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment)? Are there any screening questions and temperature checks for staff and visitors at all entrances? Do they have an option for online appointments and consultations?
It is a good idea to call the clinic before an appointment to make sure what precautions are required at your end. For example, bringing your own mask and hand sanitizer. And the exact time you need to be there to avoid the crowd. And if the billing can be done by online bank transfer.
Wear your mask at all times, practice social distancing, wash your hands before and after you touch something for at least 20 seconds, use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, avoid touching your face, and cough/sneeze on tissue paper or elbow instead of your hands.
Do not shake hands with anyone. Keep at least 6 ft (2 meters approx.) distance at all times. If the waiting area gets crowded, move to the other part of the clinic.
Avoid touching any commonly used surface. For example doorknobs and elevator buttons. But if you absolutely have to touch them, either wear gloves while making the contact or use sanitize your hands afterward.
While making a payment, make sure to ask them if they have a touchless payment option like an online bank transfer. If they do, opt for that because it will save you from unnecessary contact. If not, then make the payment while wearing gloves and sanitize your hands afterward.
Ask the doctor if you need any more follow-ups and if they can be done on call or virtually. Also, ask the doctor to write you a prescription for as long as they can. Try to order your medication online because a lot of pharmacies now offer the facility to do that. In fact, order any existing medication that needs refill too. If the online facility is not available, try a drive-through pharmacy visit.
For future follow-ups, try telemedicine. But make sure that your data remains safe and private between you and your doctor. You can either have an appointment on-call or on the internet where you can text, send audios, or videos for better communication. Since, after the first appointment, you are most probably diagnosed, it will be easier to have the future follow-ups online.
Do not keep suffering in silence. If you are ill getting yourself checked is the only right thing. If done with proper precautions, visiting the doctor’s clinic is completely fine. If you still are not sure about it, there are various digital medical service providers available that can help you get consultation and treatment at the ease and safety of your home.
Meta Description: Visiting a doctor in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic might be a risky business, but if taken necessary precautions, it can be safe to visit. Here are some tips for you as a patient to make sure that you stay safe during your doctor visit.