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Telehealth or in-person appointment - what you should know

In-Person or On-Screen: Is Telehealth a Better Way for Cancer Patients to See Their Doctor?

Now that telehealth has become a popular way for doctors and patients to communicate, people with cancer may wonder when they should be using the innovative technology and when an in-person appointment is more appropriate. The question has becomes even more pressing due to the pandemic.

Telehealth provides physicians and patients the ability to connect with each other over a secure platform accessed with a smartphone app or an internet browser and webcam. Virtual health care services have surged nationwide with reports of usage increasing as high as 170%.

For cancer patients with weakened immune systems, using telehealth services can be especially beneficial.

“As physicians, we find telehealth an important tool for maintaining quality patient care,” said Amrita Krishnan, M.D., an internationally renowned hematologist at City of Hope Newport Beach, which has implemented rigorous COVID-19 safeguards to protect patients and staff. “It may not be appropriate for every patient or every visit, but the patient and his or her doctor can discuss when this option is a good fit.”


So when should you choose a telehealth appointment?

  • When you or someone in close contact is showing symptoms of an infection, including COVID-19 or the flu
  • When you want to have a family member join you from another location; for example, if your doctor’s office has a no-visitor policy during the pandemic
  • For routine office visits and post-treatment follow-ups
  • When you need greater flexibility in scheduling appointments
  • When transportation is an issue

When should you choose an in-person appointment?

  • When you are getting to know your team at the start of treatment. Staff members are a vital source of information and support, and you will come to value the relationships you develop with them.
  • When your physician will be performing a physical examination or procedure
  • When a physician has recommended tests that require your presence
  • When you need a medication adjustment or you are experiencing medication-related side effects

Face-to-face or on the Hope Virtual telehealth platform, City of Hope Newport Beach offers world-class cancer care, backed by our pioneering research and delivered with uncompromising compassion. Call (949) 763-2204 or click here to make an appointment.