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Successful Implementation of a Telemedicine-Based Counseling Program for High-Risk Patients With Breast Cancer

      Abstract

      An interactive audio and video telemedicine feasibility program was established to provide counseling on breast cancer risk-reducing strategies for underserved, high-risk Alaskan native women through a collaboration among the Alaska Native Medical Center, the Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic, Mayo’s Center for Innovation, and the Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network. The telemedicine model included a navigator to facilitate patient encounters (referrals, electronic records, and scheduling) and a subscription billing contract. Between January 1 and December 31, 2011, 60 consultations were provided to the Alaska Native Medical Center. A survey of a sample of 15 women demonstrated overall patient satisfaction of 98% pertaining to the experience, technology, and medical consultation. The referring physician satisfaction, from 11 visit surveys and 8 referring physicians, revealed 99% satisfaction with the service. In this telemedicine pilot study, we demonstrated the feasibility of a telemedicine program to provide integrated specialty care that resulted in a positive effect on patient satisfaction. This program has a sustainable business model, thus creating a new modality for health care delivery.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      ANMC (Alaska Native Medical Center), MCBC (Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic)
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