Is It Safe to Go to the Doctor Now?

07/01/2020 Share Tweet

Is It Safe to Go to the Doctor Now?
Why You Shouldn’t Avoid Seeing Your Doctor During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Thanks to our community’s collective sacrifices, we can now celebrate with the rest of the state that we have collectively flattened Hawai’i’s COVID-19 curve. Today, Hawai’i has one of the nation’s lowest transmission rates per capita. This is wonderful news for our ‘ohana and neighbors. But the reality of delaying medical care that is important to your health could be a far greater threat than the Coronavirus. With our enhanced precautions, there is no longer a need to delay care important to you and your family’s health. 

Throughout this pandemic, The Queen’s Health Systems’ doctors, nurses and our entire care team have responded with compassion, dedication and generosity to care for our patients and their families. But overtime, we have noticed an increasingly concerning trend. Our emergency visits have dropped. And, while we would love to celebrate fewer medical emergencies, the unfortunate reality is, many people are delaying much needed medical care, which may lead to more serious life-threatening injuries and increased recovery times.

Even during a pandemic, emergencies can’t and don’t wait. Neither does your and your family’s health.

Emergencies such as a heart attack and stroke are life threatening medical emergencies. Waiting to seek medical care can mean more of the heart muscle dies during a heart attack, making treatment and survival more challenging. When it comes to strokes, “time is brain.” At The Queen’s Health Systems, our emergency departments, urgent cares and clinics are open and continue to be safe places to receive timely and personalized care for non-COVID-19 related emergencies.

Where Can I Seek Non-COVID Care?

With COVID-19 infections stabilizing across our community and state, Queen’s continues to reschedule previously cancelled appointments, surgeries, and procedures that were delayed at the onset of the pandemic. This includes inpatient care and outpatient care in our clinics and non-hospital locations.

In addition to continuing to offer telehealth and 24/7 acute and emergency care at our hospitals, our primary care clinics and urgent cares (Queen’s Island Urgent Care) continue to provide you and your ‘ohana the care you need and deserve. 

In a medical emergency, always dial 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency department. When requiring non-emergency urgent medical care, your first choice should be your primary care physician. If you do not have a primary care physician or if your primary care provider’s office is closed, urgent care is a good alternative.

When should you go to the emergency room?

Hospital emergency departments are for extremely urgent and life-threatening situations, such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Slurred speech or other symptoms of a stroke
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe bleeding 
  • Unconsciousness 
  • High, uncontrolled fever
  • Head injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Severe abdominal pain

When should you go to urgent care?

Urgent cares, including Queen’s Island Urgent Care, are for non-emergency medical situations that are not life threatening. These include:

  • Coughs, sore threads or runny roses
  • Minor cuts
  • Sinus infections
  • Sprains and strains
  • Rashes 
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Minor burns
  • Ear infections 

It’s Important to Keep Your Essential Medical Appointments & Screenings

While COVID-19 continues to dominate our state’s headlines, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Hawai‘i. Continuing to delay care that is important to your health could be a far greater threat to you and your family than COVID-19. Even while practicing social distancing during this pandemic, it is important you keep essential visits and preventative screenings with your healthcare provider. Essential medical appointments include chronic disease management for conditions such as heart disease and management of other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure. In many cases, your Queen’s provider may offer remote medical appointments via telehealth. If you are required to visit one of our locations for an appointment, screening, or procedure, you can rest assured our facilities are safe for care.

Is It Safe to See a Doctor or Go to a Hospital?

At Queen’s, our number one  priority is your safety and well-being. Our doctors and nurses can ensure you safely get the care you need and deserve, safely in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Whether you visit one of our hospitals or your Queen’s primary care doctor, your care team carefully evaluates all guidance and protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health to ensure a safe environment for our patients and staff. Our hospitals and clinics have the following procedures in place:

  • Everyone entering the hospital and clinics will be screened. 
  • You will be asked to wear a mask and sanitize your hands. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one to you.
  • Seating in waiting rooms has been adjusted to help assure physical distancing.
  • Staff members have been trained in the latest CDC protocols, and have the necessary equipment to safely care for all patients in our community.
  • All equipment, surfaces, and public areas are cleaned before and after appointments and use. We use an approved disinfectant, effective in killing the COVID-19 virus.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider or any staff member or call us at 808-691-2619 to speak with a Queen’s registered nurse.