Telehealth Appointments for Heart Patients
In Spring 2020, telehealth appointments replaced routine in-person visits to BIDMC's CardioVascular Institute. We welcomed back patients for in-person appointments in July and continue to offer virtual visits.
Schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment by calling:
"The CVI is fully equipped and staffed for virtual patient visits," says Eli Gelfand, MD, Section Chief, General Cardiology. "Telehealth consultations are proving to be both effective and comforting to our patients, keeping them safe from infection and providing the same guidance and reassurance of an office visit. Many patients have told us they now prefer telehealth appointments for follow up of some conditions, especially if they have a long distance to travel to get to the medical center."
As with regular office visits, cardiology and cardiac surgery patients "meet" with their cardiologist, cardiology nurse practitioner, or cardiac surgeon during virtual visits to go over health history, symptoms, medications and any recent test results.
"The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine uses a comprehensive platform called BIDMC Virtual Visit, which enables patients to connect with their cardiologist via video during a scheduled appointment time. All that is required from the patient is a computer or tablet with a camera and a microphone," says Dr. Gelfand, adding that some patients have reported good results using their smartphones. If patients prefer, they can choose to have a telephone "visit" instead.
In this video, BIDMC Cardiologist Anne-Marie Anagnostopoulos, MD, talks about telehealth visits at the CardioVascular Institute.
Get the Most from Your Appointment
Dr. Gelfand recommends that you prepare for a telehealth consultation just as you would your regular appointment. "Make a list of subjects that you would like to discuss with your doctor," he suggests. In addition, have the following information ready:
- Medications you are taking, including vitamins and over-the-counter medicines and if you need any prescription refills
- Any basic symptoms you have been experiencing
- Any changes in your health since your last doctor's visit
- Your medical history
- Any blood pressure readings you have tracked at home from a blood pressure monitor or other data you have gathered from your smartwatch, smartphone or a fitness tracking device
- The name and phone number of your pharmacy
Other Telehealth Tips
- Have your computer, tablet or phone charged or plugged in
- "Arrive" for your appointment 15 minutes early
- Try out or "test drive" the technology you will be using in advance
- Locate a quiet, private place where you can talk, away from distractions
- Have a pen and paper ready to take notes
"Telehealth appointments are also available any time you feel the need for a conversation with your cardiologist or cardiology nurse practitioner," says Dr. Gelfand.
Call 617-667-8800 to schedule a cardiology telehealth appointment.
Call 617-632-8383 to schedule a cardiac surgery telehealth appointment.
Email us with questions about existing telehealth appointments.