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Local physicians encouraging patients not to delay preventative care

Posted at 11:03 AM, May 25, 2021

Local physicians are encouraging residents to get the preventative care they may need now that COVID-19 cases in the area are falling.

Doctors at Tenet Health Central Coast say you do not need to put off any routine care, including annual physicals, cancer screenings and check-ups.

They remind people that waiting longer than needed now could cause problems for some patients.

“We absolutely are seeing some people who have delayed their care and their conditions have progressed to a point where it's a little bit more severe,” said Dr. Eric Salanger with Tenet Health Central Coast.

Tenet says data shows 40 percent of people are visiting their health providers less often; however, 41 percent have reported participating in a telehealth appointment during the last few months, which up from this time last year.

They also say appointments for mammograms, pap smears and colonscopiers were down 80 to 90 percent between February and April of 2021 from before the pandemic.

ER visits are also reportedly down for almost all hospitals.

Tenet is piloting a new phone app that helps patients have more control over the care they receive.

The app gives information on what tests are being done, provides a system to notify family or friends about how long your stay could take and notifies you what steps to take after visiting the emergency room.