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It is safe to receive healthcare

Michael Habowski, President and CEO ACMC Healthcare SystemMy biggest worry when COVID-19 first reached American shores last year was, "How will we keep our patients and caregivers safe?" Now, as we continue our national recovery from COVID-19, I worry about the impact that delaying care has had on patients.

A national study last year showed more than 40% of Americans delayed or avoided medical care because of the pandemic. Nearly one-third of all Americans put off routine care such as annual checkups or screenings. Shockingly, 12% of Americans avoided emergency care. Closer to home, a Cleveland-area study by Cleveland Clinic showed 85% of Americans are concerned about contracting COVID-19 when seeking medical treatment. Of those who experienced a potentially serious health issue during the pandemic, just 52% sought medical care.

As I noted in the last issue of Pulse, our commitment is, and always has been, to provide high-quality care in the safest way possible. In early March 2020, we developed even stronger patient-safety strategies that incorporated social distancing and masking standards, visitor restrictions, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We continue to modify our patient-safety protocols in conjunction with CDC and Ohio Department of Health advisories.

To help patients who were fearful of coming to the hospital or one of our Family Health Centers, we began telehealth visits, where patients could see a provider via their home computer, tablet or smartphone.

We continue to offer telehealth visits for most ACMC providers. But let me also reassure you—it is safe to return to your ACMC provider's office. In this issue of Pulse, you can learn more about the risks a person faces when they put off visiting their primary care provider or specialist. It's sobering to think that our fears for our health and safety could lead to greater health problems, but that is the case.

Routine checkups, screenings, vaccinations and management of chronic conditions—like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol—are all vital to long-term health. I urge you not to delay them any longer. You can count on ACMC to provide the highest level of care with the highest level of safety.

Categories: From our CEO

Don't delay essential care

Your health is our priority—and that means getting the care you need, when you need it. An added option: telehealth. Call 440.997.6969 to schedule an appointment. ACMC Express Care offers telehealth appointments from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 440.994.7550.

Learn how ACMC is keeping patients safe