Eagle Telemedicine invites you to our series of physician perspectives on telemedicine, its role in health care, its challenges and how it will be a force in future quality care.
Dr. Jayne Lee is chief medical officer of Eagle Telemedicine and a practicing telemedicine physician for the past 12 years. She graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. After completing her intern year at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and second and third intern years at Morristown Memorial Hospital, she knew hospitalist work was right for her. During four years of practice in the U.S., she developed a passion for telemedicine. She became the first physician in Eagle’s telehospitalist program, and today directs the program from her home base in Paris. Fluent in French, she earned her BS degree in Microbiology from Ohio State University in 1999.
Eagle: You are a long-term telehospitalist. What is one crucial factor in making patients comfortable with telemedicine?
Dr. Lee: Building trust is the number one factor. Being in a hospital is a very scary thing so patients need a great deal of reassurance and the belief that I will take the time to really listen to them. With the patient I go over their labs, history and diagnostic studies and the results to give them confidence. I review the treatment plan and their expected length of stay. By hearing what they have to say during this visit and giving them complete information, it builds trust and confidence. This technique works the best.
Eagle: Do you see any misconceptions that hospitals have when it comes to telemedicine?
Dr. Lee: Twelve years ago, there was a lot of anxiety about providing health care and not being physically present. It was also hard to convince hospitals we were fully engaged in the patient’s care and had the qualifications to make care decisions. Since then, hospitals have experienced how telemedicine is a valuable part of the healthcare system. We are very involved in patient care and give a lot of direction to the physical aspects of treatment. I often call family members to coordinate transfers and to make sure the family understands the patient’s care needs. As for qualifications, Eagle telemedicine providers are board-certified and can handle all aspects of the care except the physical in-person procedures.
Eagle: What do you like about being a telemedicine provider?
Dr. Lee: I was single when I started and since have gotten married and had two children. I like having the ability to be there for my husband and kids and I am finding a lot of physicians are liking telemedicine for the same reason, more home time. Another aspect is the variety of hospitals and patients we’re seeing. Also, since the patient data is all available on the screen, right in front of me, I can be far more efficient and serve more patients in the time I have. I know telemedicine physicians are helping hospitals extend quality care to more patients and that is an important contribution we all make.
You can learn more about Eagle Telemedicine’s diverse and experienced physicians and their perspectives on telemedicine here.