Tag Archive for: virtual appointment

How MPN Providers Want You to Prepare for Telemedicine Visits

How MPN Providers Want You to Prepare for Telemedicine Visits from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What are some ways myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) providers want patients to prepare for telemedicine visits? MPN expert Dr. Jamile Shammo shares advice to avoid common obstacles to optimal telemedicine visits.

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Pros and Cons of Telemedicine From an MPN Patient Perspective

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Lisa Hatfield:

Do you ever wonder what your doctor wishes you would do before having a telemedicine appointment with them? After all, they are meeting with patients almost daily for telehealth visits so they know what makes a successful appointment. Listen as Dr. Jamile Shammo shares her advice on how to prep to make the most of your time together: 

Dr. Jamile Shammo:

When preparing for a televisit, I think it’s so important to know whether or not you would have a connectivity issue. A lot of times, I’m trying to connect with the patient and then we realize that their phone isn’t equipped to handle the televisit and that is kind of disappointing to find that out a minute before you try to connect then that visit becomes a telephone encounter, which is again, less satisfying for some patients. I mean it does the job, but again, it doesn’t provide me with the exam…part of the exam that I’d like to do, at least in that way. 

Lisa Hatfield:

If you are unsure on what platform to use for your appointment or if you have to download an application, it is worth asking your care team ahead of time as Dr. Shammo says. Most institutions have a person that can assist you with setup prior to the appointment, especially if it is your first virtual appointment. 

Dr. Jamile Shammo:

It would be helpful to make sure that you have a blood draw or if your physician would like to have a blood draw in my case, I always like to have a CBC beforehand or perhaps a chemistry or maybe ion studies or what have you, to have that so that there will be something to discuss. Make sure that your physician has had those results before you have the visit. Sometimes it is also disappointing that the patient thinks I’ve received those results when I actually haven’t and I have no control over that, so that would be the other piece.

Lisa Hatfield:

Take control of your visit by asking staff ahead of time if you can have a blood draw or other testing and that those results are shared with the doctor prior to your visit, that way you can discuss them live. You can typically request this by calling or using a patient communication portal. Just like with in-person visits, have your questions ready or items you would like to talk about in order to utilize your time effectively. 

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Mobile Doctor’s Appointments? Do They Work?

Dr. On Demand Dashboard

Dr. On Demand Dashboard

Hate the doctor’s office and don’t want to go to Urgent Care or the E.R.? There’s an app for that. Doctor On Demand is a mobile application that allows you to have a video appointment with a doctor from your own home. On their website they claim, “At Doctor On Demand we provide fast, easy and cost-effective access to some of the best doctors, psychologists, and other healthcare providers in the country. Our patients can have Video Visits with these providers on their smartphone or computers at any time of day.” Recently a friend of mine used this app for the first time because of a strange lump in her armpit, so I decided to sit in to see what it was all about and if it can actually replace an in-person visit.


First thing you do is download the app, create an account, and fill out your health and insurance information. Then, you are given the option to choose a specific doctor or specific time. If you chose the specific time route, you are assigned a doctor. My friend chose a specific time and told me that it was a very easy, user-friendly process. To prepare for the appointment, you fill out all your symptoms and take pictures of your problem (if applicable) to have on hand. I asked my friend why they chose Doctor On Demand over a traditional doctor, Urgent Care, or E.R., and she said this way she won’t have to waste time stuck in a doctor’s office, could be seen quicker, and the appointment times worked better with her work schedule. However, she was hesitant because the doctor would not be able to feel or see the issue in person, which may affect the diagnosis.


Once your call begins, the doctor begins by reviewing your chart before coming on camera. Next, the doctor comes on camera and asks to explain the problem and the symptoms she was having. The appointment is set up like a FaceTime call. The doctor assigned to my friend was very friendly and attentive. This when those photos you took beforehand are useful because then she asked my friend to upload the photos for her to look at.


After the issue was thoroughly explained, the doctor was unable to diagnose what was going on without further testing. She did explain the several possibilities of what could be occurring and what tests may be needed. However, in the end the doctor did recommend that my friend go see a doctor in-person to get an accurate diagnosis.


In conclusion, my friend was reassured that it didn’t require immediate attention and that she shouldn’t worry. She also felt better and more relax about the few days it would be before she could be seen by a doctor. She and I would both recommend using Dr. On Demand, especially for the simpler alignments, such as colds, because the doctors are able to write prescriptions to your local pharmacy saving you the time wasted in a waiting room. My friend had this to say about her overall experience:

“This was a quick solution to put my mind at ease that something more serious was not going on before I was able to schedule an in-person doctor’s appointment”