Skipped Appointments

Check this out. And, this as well. What you will see at both URL’s are teasers for WSJ articles discussing the impact of patients skipping medical appointments during the pandemic. From postponed colonoscopies to delayed detection of diabetes, most experts believe that it will be a decade or more until we realize the full impact of this procrastination. As one Oncologist discussant in my On Doctors’ MindsSMconversations reminded me, “Cancer has a long tail.”  

Two driving factors here. Institutions being shut down for routine visits and elective procedures over an extended period of time didn’t help. Patient fears about being infected with COVID in a medical setting are even more long lasting and are still causing delays in medical treatment.  

As we have discussed before, only well on into the months of the pandemic did we start to see advertisements by pharmaceutical companies encouraging patients not to postpone needed care.

Bottom Line. So, I wonder. What did we learn from this that will cause us to do something differently the next time? And who is the “us” that is responsible for keeping healthcare on track???

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