UPMC On Topic Transcript - UPMC Teleconsult Centers
Lawrence R. Wechsler, MD
Vice President, Telemedicine, PSD, UPMC
The Teleconsult Centers are really virtual offices for a specialist to provide care to patients in their own community. The patients will come to the Teleconsult Centers and they will see the same specialists that they would see if they had to travel down to Pittsburgh, only they’ll be able to see them in their own environment, close to home and in a convenient setting for themselves.
Natasa Sokolovich, JD, MSHCPM
Executive Director, Telemedicine, UPMC
The Teleconsult Center process works very similar to an in-person, face-to-face visit for the patient. The patient would come to the consult center location and would be greeted by one of our medical staff coordinators who would then register them and take them to the waiting room to wait to be called as they would in a face to face visit.
When a patient has a consultation in one of our Teleconsult Centers, the interaction will essentially be virtually the same as it would be in any other doctor’s office — the only difference being that the doctor will be there on the telemedicine equipment instead of being there in person. They will have a nurse or an advanced practice provider who will be in person at the Teleconsult Center in the room with them who will help the physician interact with the patient and be part of the examination, but in every other respect they will have complete communication with the physician.
Range of Services
At the Teleconsult Centers, we offer a broad range of specialty services. These include everything from maternal fetal medicine, rheumatology specialty services, high risk pregnancy, cardiac EP, endocrine diabetes management, and a number of other specialist services.
The advantages of the Teleconsult Centers are that, number one, it saves the patient the time and the effort of traveling long distances to see these subspecialists — in some cases that’s not even possible given the person’s disabilities. Another advantage is that it centralizes certain processes like scheduling, and it creates a uniform level of care throughout the system regardless of whether you’re in Pittsburgh or out in the community. And finally, if any tests are needed, those tests can be done within the patient’s community close to home as opposed to traveling into Pittsburgh for those tests.
Convenience and Expertise
UPMC has world class specialists with world class care and we want to make that available anywhere within the UPMC system and within Western Pennsylvania.