Telemedicine Visits at MSK

We invite you to have your upcoming appointment with your MSK doctor by video, which is called telemedicine. This information describes what telemedicine is so that you can decide if it’s right for you. If you decide not to take part in this program, you will see your Interventional Radiology doctor in Manhattan.

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine is when we use technology to care for patients without being in the same place at the same time. In this program, you and your doctor will see and talk with each other on a large computer screen. The images you and your doctor see are very high quality. Your doctor will be able to check how you’re doing, diagnose problems you may have, and assess you for your interventional radiology procedure.

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What are the benefits of telemedicine?

The primary benefit of having your doctor’s appointment using telemedicine is that you don’t have to travel into Manhattan. This saves you time and travel costs, and many patients say not having to travel is less stressful. One of the goals of MSK’s Telemedicine Program is to bring care closer to where you live. At this time we are offering this service for Interventional Radiology at the Westchester MSK site.

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Will my information stay private?

Yes. Telemedicine meets the strict standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This means your privacy is protected just like all your visits with your doctor. MSK works with Cisco Systems, the world’s leader in information technology, to make secure telemedicine visits available to our patients. All of this happens within MSK’s computer network, keeping your information secure.

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How will my telemedicine visit work?

Cisco videoconferencing system similar to the ones at MSK Westchester

If you decide to take part in this program, we will schedule your appointment with your doctor as a telemedicine visit. On the day of your appointment, you will go to MSK Westchester. After you check in, a member of our staff will take you to an exam room that has the video system in it. We will close the door to give you privacy like other visits, and a nurse will be in the room with you. Your nurse will check your vital signs and explain how the system works. At the time of your appointment, the nurse will call your doctor’s office using the touch screen. You may see the Physician Office Assistant from your Manhattan doctor’s office on the screen while they transfer your call. Once you’re connected, you will see your doctor on a large video monitor and you’ll see and hear each other just like you would if you were in the same office together. When talking with your doctor, look at the screen to keep eye contact, just like in person. If you’re having trouble seeing or hearing your doctor, tell the Session Assistant or nurse who brought you to the room. At the end of your visit, your doctor will give you follow-up instructions, such as appointments or blood work. If there are any technical problems, your doctor will continue your visit over the phone, if necessary. We do not expect any technical problems.

If you don’t feel well, or if you’re uncomfortable at any time during your visit, tell your doctor or nurse. If you need help, you’ll just press the red call button on the back wall of the room.

Many patients say telemedicine visits are like being right in the doctor’s office. We have offered telemedicine visits at MSK for several years in Psychiatry, Genetics, Supportive Care, and in the Bone Marrow Transplant service, and almost all patients (95%-100%) are satisfied or highly satisfied with the program. Patients like the convenience, and find the quality of care through telemedicine to be very high.

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Can my doctor diagnose me as well using telemedicine as in person?

Many exams can be done using telemedicine. If necessary, your doctor may ask you to move a part of your body so they can tell how well you move or if you have pain. Your nurse may move the camera so your doctor can see parts of your body better. Your doctor may also ask your nurse to examine your heart, lungs, or abdomen (belly) while your doctor watches and listens.

Sometimes a telemedicine video is not a good way to examine a patient. This is rare. Your healthcare team knows the reason for your visit ahead of time, so we know whether telemedicine is a safe and effective way to see you.

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Does my telemedicine visit go in my medical record?

Yes. Your doctor will document the visit in your medical record in the same way they would if your visit were in person.

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Survey for Process Improvement

When your visit is over we will ask you to complete a survey. Your feedback is important to us, and we will use it to improve this service and keep it available to our patients.

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