Published on August 03, 2020

The Importance of Maintaining Primary Care Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

WEST READING, Pennsylvania (August 3, 2020) - Tower Health reminds the public about the importance of continuing to see your primary care provider, even as the coronavirus remains in our community. Regular wellness, screening, and preventive visits with a primary care provider can help manage any ongoing health issues or detect new conditions. According to Albert Rabinovich, MD, Internal Medicine - Tower Health Medical Group, regular interactions with a primary care provider are especially important for individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure. Lack of proper care for a chronic health condition can worsen short-term symptoms and affect your health.

In addition to keeping up with regular primary care, "I also encourage my patients to eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed food," says Dr. Rabinovich. "Regular exercise is also important to strengthen the immune system and may help prevent you from getting sick or having complications from any kind of infection. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, I recommend that individuals practice 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three to four times a week. A properly working home blood pressure cuff is also a good idea, since high blood pressure often has "silent" symptoms and may go undetected."

While COVID-19 is still prevalent, all Tower Health physician practices are following recommended safety measures to maintain a clean and safe environment. All medical staff members and patients wear a face mask. The number of patients in the office at the same time is limited, and waiting room furniture has been positioned to encourage distancing. All patients are screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the office. We are not currently allowing "walk-in" patients.

Patients can also use virtual visits as an alternative to in-person appointments. These can include follow-up care, urgent care, or select appointments for new patients. Scheduled virtual visits are available with a Tower Health Medical Group Physician or Advanced Practice Provider (APP). On-demand care is available 24/7 with a Tower Health Urgent Care physician or APP through Virtual Care by TDH. These telephone or video visits are a very useful tool for physicians to assess patient conditions without bringing you to the office. It is particularly relevant to vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions who are at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Maintaining a relationship with a primary care physician is key for protecting good health during the pandemic, along with wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding crowded places, and proper hand hygiene. Following these simple steps can reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 and any other viral or bacterial infection.

If you or a loved one has symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, extreme dizziness, or inability to walk, call 9-1-1 immediately for evaluation and treatment in an emergency department.  

Dr. Rabinovich is available for media interviews

About Tower Health

Tower Health is a strong, regional, integrated healthcare provider/payer system that offers leading-edge, compassionate healthcare and wellness services to a population of 2.5 million people. With approximately 14,000 team members, Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Jennersville Hospital in West Grove; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown; and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, a partnership of Tower Health and Drexel University in Philadelphia. It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; home healthcare services provided by Tower Health at Home; and a network of 25 urgent care facilities across the Tower Health service area. Tower Health offers a connected network of 2,200 physicians, specialists, and providers across more than 230 convenient locations. For more information, visit towerhealth.org