Dr. Jayne Lee has been with Eagle since the beginning of our telehospitalist service. She delivers care to patients throughout the U.S. from her office in Paris, France, where she lives with her husband and three-month-old daughter. We checked in with Dr. Lee recently for a Q&A so she could share a telehospitalist’s perspective on care provision.
Q: What made you initially interested in telemedicine?
Dr. Lee: I met Dr. Mac [McCormick, now Eagle Hospital Physicians CEO] in 2009 at a North Carolina hospital, and mentioned my dream of moving to Paris. He told me about Eagle's telemedicine plans, and I kept thinking about the possibility of remote care delivery after moving to Paris in 2010.
Q: You moved to Paris before being involved in Telemedicine?
Dr. Lee: Yes, because I had fallen in love with the city. After moving here, I flew to the U.S. each month, worked intensely for 10 days, then returned. I added Eagle Telemedicine to my work later in 2010, and it dominated my schedule by early 2011. I stopped commuting entirely when I became pregnant in June of 2013.
Q: What do you like most about telemedicine?
Dr. Lee: It gives physicians the best of both worlds. You can live anywhere you want and still do what you want professionally. I love Paris, and I love practicing medicine. I can deliver equally effective treatment whether I’m bedside or beamed in remotely.
Q: What would you say to a hospital administrator considering telemedicine?
Dr. Lee: It’s a great way to deliver care at the same level or better than now while eliminating staffing issues. If you’re challenged with night-time coverage or skillsets you don’t need full-time, this is a wonderful solution. You get skilled physicians and around-the-clock care without permanent staffing.
Q: How do you see telemedicine evolving?
Dr. Lee: The Affordable Care Act means more people are becoming insured, which creates more demand for healthcare services. Telemedicine is one of the ways we’ll satisfy increasing demand.
Q: How accepting are patients of Telemedicine?
Dr. Lee: My being six time zones away often amazes them. Once the patient and I start talking, though, they usually forget that I’m on the robot; they interact with me as if I were physically with them – they see a real person and the robot aspect goes away.
Q: Do you plan to continue your current situation long-term?
Dr. Lee: Yes, I see myself as staying in telemedicine. As telemedicine grows, I absolutely want to remain on this technology frontier.