How Can MPN Patients and Care Partners Stay Aware of Telemedicine Options

How Can MPN Patients and Care Partners Stay Aware of Telemedicine Options?

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How Can MPN Patients and Care Partners Stay Aware of Telemedicine Options? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Telemedicine is often an option for myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) care, but how can patients and care partners stay aware of options? Expert Dr. AnaMaria Lopez from Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center shares her experience introducing healthcare providers to caring for patients via telemedicine and some of the benefits telemedicine provides versus an in-person visit.

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Lisa Hatfield: 

And some patients might be a little more reluctant to use telehealth or telemedicine. How can patients and their care partners feel more confident in voicing their concerns or communicating with their healthcare teams regarding any telemedicine options that are out there?

Dr. AnaMaria Lopez: 

So you mentioned that I had been the founding medical director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program, and it was such a wonderful experience because skepticism, and I really respected that. It was brand new, and we had our system in the library. And the library, it was down in the basement, so it was very metaphorical. I would meet the new clinician at the entrance of the library. We would walk down the stairs together and often, the conversation was, “Okay, I’m doing this for you. I’m doing it one time. We’ll see how it goes.” And I was always so reassuring that if for some reason, because ultimately the clinician needs to feel comfortable, “Yes, this works, or no, it doesn’t. And if you have any doubt and you feel that you need to see the patient in person, you just need to say that,” ‘I need to see the patient in person.’” And inevitably as we’re walking up the stairs, “Oh, I know you called me because I was on call. Just call me anytime. Don’t call the on-call person. This was great. I loved it.”

So inevitably, people really like it, and it’s good. You see the patient in their own environment, you can interact. You often get insights that you may not have gotten otherwise just because of where you are and how comfortable they feel in their own space. So I think, for me it’s the proof is in the pudding. Give people the opportunity, have the right supports and technology in place, and often it’s a very positive experience. 

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