A growing number of Michigan Medicine patients are participating in an innovative new approach to patient care: Surgery eClinics, which facilitate follow-up visits via video conferencing. The concept of telemedicine and video medicine isn’t new. But its application in the field of surgery has been relatively limited. Similar to the house calls of old, the virtual clinic approach underscores the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.
Much like Skype and FaceTime, the Surgery eClinic allows patients to engage in face-to-face conversations. Patients log in to the Michigan Medicine Patient Portal with a mobile device and click on the Video Visit icon to start their clinic experience. Security and privacy protections allow discussion of personal health information. Patients are scheduled for a 15-minute appointment, and rather than being seen by multiple providers, they spend the entire appointment with their surgeon. Introduced in March 2017, these eClinics are now being used in the hospital system’s gastroenterology, urology, and general surgery divisions. Across the system, 1,000 video visits have taken place.