It’s been reported in publications from the LA Times to the Washington Post: As many as one third of Americans are delaying medical care because they are afraid of being exposed to the coronavirus. The result it that people could become seriously ill or even die not from the virus, but from leaving critical medical conditions undiagnosed or untreated.
Experts at OSF Healthcare Little Company of Mary Medical Center, 2800 W. 95th St., are assuring people it’s safe to visit the hospital for emergency treatment and regular medical care.
“We want to make sure that our community feels comfortable coming to Little Company of Mary Medical Center. Our emergency department is clean. It is roomy so there is enough room to separate patients. It is safe for you to seek the care that you need. It is very important that you feel comfortable coming if you think you have a serious problem,” said Bill Walsh, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center.
Dr. Walsh encourages community members who are experiencing symptoms that may signal a serious health issue to seek care as soon as possible in the closest emergency department.
People in need of emergency care can be confident that the OSF Little Company of Mary Emergency Room is a clean environment that more than meets safety guidelines. Recent ER renovations include social distancing and protective barriers in waiting rooms and new treatment rooms that are now separated by glass walls and doors instead of curtains. All coronavirus protections are being used including plenty of PPE for the staff.
“As we get closer to our new normal and realizing what that looks like, the importance of self-care and preventative health care services is coming back to the front of mind for many of our patients and our community members. As we look towards ‘how do we better serve during that time,’ one of the features that we have brought back online is scheduling online at your convenience,” said Kate Eschbach, MHA, RT(R)(MR)(CT), Director, Medical Imaging & Cardiology, OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center.
OSF Little Company of Mary has made it easy to schedule appointments and save time on updating paperwork.
“We are very excited to bring online scheduling as an opportunity for our patients to book their mammo online for screening services,” said Eschbach, adding that “the entire process takes a total of five clicks.” According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the goal of screening mammography is to find cancer when it is still too small to be felt by breast self-examination or your doctor. Finding small breast cancers early by a screening mammogram greatly improves the chance for successful treatment.
Appointments for mammograms, sports physicals and back-to-school physicals can be made online to osflittlecompanyofmary.org. Click on the banner for the kind of appointment you need to be directed to scheduling, or sign up for the OSF MyChart app and create an account that can help you manage all of your appointments, communications with your physician, and follow-ups. OSF MyChart can easily be accessed on cell phones.
By scheduling online, patients can also complete any paperwork or questionnaires that need to be supplied or updated.
People who are considering elective surgeries are encouraged to move forward. OSFL Little Company of Mary has offerings this option since mid-May. All patients must be tested for COVID-19 before their surgery.
OSF monitors everyone coming into its hospitals while maintaining physical distancing in waiting areas. The focus remains on the best interest of a patient’s health overall.