Flu shots, preventive care, and emergency services are important parts of staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By now, we all know about important practices to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance from those outside your household, and washing or sanitizing your hands.
But staying healthy during the pandemic also means staying on top of your regular health needs. If you’ve put off appointments for chronic health conditions, preventive care screenings, or immunizations, don’t wait. We’ve implemented rigorous safety procedures to ensure members can safely visit our medical offices and hospitals. We also offer telehealth options for many primary and specialty care needs.
“An important part of safe and healthy practices is completing scheduled preventive care screenings,” said Stephen Parodi, MD, executive vice president of The Permanente Federation and a national infectious disease leader for Kaiser Permanente. “We encourage patients to come in for routine preventive screenings, and if you’re sick or injured it’s always important to seek care promptly.”
While each of us has our own unique health needs, here are some simple strategies that will help you stay safe and healthy throughout the months and years ahead.
This year, more than ever, it is critical that everyone 6 months and older gets vaccinated for the flu. Kaiser Permanente offers the flu vaccine to our members at no cost, and we’ve expanded drive-thru and outdoor vaccination clinics at many of our medical facilities. These clinics allow for physical distancing while also being safe and convenient. You can also get the flu shot when visiting our facilities for other reasons. Find more information on how and where to get a flu shot at kp.org/flu.
Preventive care includes immunizations and screenings to detect possible diseases and help you stay well. Examples include well-care visits and checkups, blood pressure screenings, cholesterol checks, colon cancer screenings, Pap tests, mammograms, and prostate cancer screenings.
Delaying or skipping these services can increase your risk of serious illness. If you’re a Kaiser Permanente member, your doctor will help you stay on track by sending reminders about needed screenings. If you’re not sure if you’re due for a preventive screening or test, visit your My Health page on kp.org, or send your doctor a secure message through the Message Center.
For many emergency conditions such as stroke, heart attack, or appendicitis, timely care is essential. In the case of a stroke, for example, more brain damage occurs with each hour that passes.
Kaiser Permanente emergency departments remain fully open, available, and safe. People in need of emergency care should not avoid or delay it.
Our care teams have been redesigning the way we deliver quality care to you. Many important health needs can be met at home with a video visit or scheduled phone appointment. Kaiser Permanente members can also use secure email, e-visits, and, in some regions, chat online with a clinician, to receive care from the safety of their homes.
For those who come to our facilities, we’re working hard to make sure you can get the care you need in the safest way possible. This includes symptom screening, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection at all of our facilities, as well as requiring all who enter our facilities to wear a mask. See what to expect the next time you come in for a visit, and visit kp.org for more information on options for safely getting the quality care you know and trust.