Williamson Medical Group physicians are responding to a concerning decrease in the number of patient appointments with a campaign cautioning patients delaying routine medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group is releasing a video to remind the community of the importance of seeking care now to prevent significant health problems later.

The decline in patients being seen by Williamson Medical Group physicians is in line with a national trend. According to a new study from Harvard researchers, primary care visits throughout the United States have dropped by nearly 50 percent since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The consequences of not coming in to be seen can be significant,” said Anna Herring, PA-C, Physician Assistant. “What could be an easily treated condition may turn into a much bigger problem later.”

Delaying routine care can result in future complications, particularly for those with chronic conditions.

“Patients with diabetes need to get their blood sugar checked, patients with high blood pressure need to have their blood pressure checked, and patients with thyroid issues need to have their labs drawn,” said Arthur Williams, D.O., Family Medicine.

While fear of the virus may be keeping patients from scheduling appointments, Williamson Medical Group wants patients to know they are safe in seeking care.

“Going to an outpatient practice is safe because of your limited exposure to others and the safety mechanisms we have in place,” said Jeffrey Suppinger, M.D., Family Medicine. “A large percentage of my appointments are telehealth visits using secure, encrypted video and audio communication.”

ABOUT WILLIAMSON MEDICAL CENTER
Williamson Medical Center offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services, 24-hour emergency care, preventive health screenings and wellness activities. Services offered by Williamson Medical Center are developed to provide the most cost-effective, convenient and accessible healthcare possible. More than 750 providers represent over 70 medical specialties and sub-specialties. The caliber of physicians and care at Williamson Medical Center continues to advance the way healthcare is delivered to our region with compassion and convenience unique to WMC. Our campus also houses Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center, which provides pediatric emergent and inpatient care, and the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee – the region’s premiere destination for orthopaedic excellence. In addition, WMC’s Williamson Medical Group includes over 35 providers offering everything from primary care to surgery to pulmonary and sleep medicine. For more information, visit www.WilliamsonMedicalCenter.org.