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  • Virtual Doctor Visits: Will They be the New Norm?

    Posted by mark-koziol on May 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm

     

    I have a post-transplant appointment on the horizon. My transplant coordinator recently contacted me and shared that my appointment will now be conducted virtually, and I don’t know how I feel about this. The face to face communication is what I prefer, especially as it pertains to my healthcare. I was directed to only complete my blood draw at the hospital, but not proceed with the chest x-ray or spirometry test. I will complete the spirometry test at home with my handheld spirometer instead. If there is a decrease in lung function I will need to complete a chest x-ray. 

     

    The Cleveland Clinic has been offering these virtual appointments for the past several years. I do know some transplant patients who live several hundred miles away, who are taking advantage of this service. They seem to be quite happy with this set up because it saves them time and money. Most patients who come in from out of town usually stay the night and incur multiple expenses as a result of overnight accommodations.

    I recently read an article by the Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials publication titled, “How Telemedicine Is Enhancing Healthcare during the Coronavirus.” The article summarizes how technology can benefit patients and which “appointments are suitable for virtual visits. Dr. Mark Rood writes, “Virtual visits allow us to address patients’ health concerns, safely and effectively. They’re especially important in this time of COVID-19.”

     

    I am interested to know if any of our members have participated in a virtual doctor visit or appointment. What were the pros and cons of this for you? 

    mark-koziol replied 3 years, 4 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • regina-bolyard

    Member
    May 7, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    I had a telemedicine appointment with my primary care doctor recently. I’m no stranger to video conferencing, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable about using it to replace an office visit. However, it was preferable to making a non essential trip and I just needed med refills.

     

    I lost my doctors visual feed a minute into the appointment, so there’s that, but the appointment went ok.  Any vitals that would be done in-office for the record, I was able to provide using my personal equipment. The only thing I really disliked about the experience was having to use my phone. That is the only way my doctor can secure the visit in compliance with HIPPA. I would have preferred using my tablet or computer.

     

    I have declined other video appointments. I was to see a rheumatologist as a new patient but I didn’t think that it was appropriate under the circumstances. I also declined one with my local pulmonologist. My surgical biopsy is put on hold for the foreseeable future, so there was nothing new to discuss. I didn’t see the point. At a later date I may do the telemedicine visit with my pulmonologist, but not just yet. My lung function is still pretty good. If it were not, that would influence my decision.

  • mark-koziol

    Member
    May 7, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Hello Regina, thank you for sharing your story. I love the way you broke down your scenarios. You backed up each one of your points with detailed reasoning. I think it will help other members deciding on whether they would do a virtual appointment or not. Thanks again. Take care, Mark

  • eileen-owen

    Member
    May 7, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    I’ve had 4 appointments with different doctors. My transplant clinic, I have had 2 visits with and was quite satisfied with them. They are 2 hours away and I didn’t mind not doing that driving. I will see them for my next appointment in early June as I am 2 years post transplant so I have certain tests that they want me there for I.e. 6 minute walk, etc. I had another appointment with my endocrinologist that they were just going to reschedule but I wanted to discuss a bone break with him. And I had another appointment with a new doctor that was just a consult and I felt that could be handled with a FaceTime visit-it was and it was fine.

  • mark-koziol

    Member
    May 7, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Hello Eileen, I appreciate you sharing your virtual experiences with the forum members. I have my first one scheduled for June and it is a transplant appointment. I live in the city where my clinic is but I understand why they want to complete the appointment virtually. Thank you and I knock that 6 minute walk out of the park! Mark

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