We’ve had a multitude of patients come into the emergency department recently thinking or expecting that by coming to the emergency department we will somehow be able to connect them to a specialist because of an appointment that they’ve had that they decided not to keep. The irony is is that they’ve opted not to go to the primary care doctor or the specialist out of fear of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) only to come to the emergency department where the risk of exposure or transmission is actually significantly greater.
If you have scheduled appointments that were scheduled long before the COVID-19 pandemic became a problem in the community, talk with your doctor or the office and let them guide you on what the next step is. Many doctor’s offices now are implementing virtual care platforms that will allow you to keep those appointments in the privacy of your own home. Many of them are also constructing mechanisms to limit the number of patients in the waiting room but still honor appointments. For example, you might have a scheduled appointment with a specialist and they may guide you to come to the office and wait in your car until you are called to come to the office because they want to limit the number of patients in the waiting room.
Regardless of the situation, it is not a wise idea to come to the emergency department for care that your specialists have been coordinating and have been managing. It’s in your best interest to call those doctors with whom you have an established relationship and get guidance from them about what the next step should be.