What is a telemedicine visit?

A telemedicine visit is a private interaction between you and your medical services provider using real-time electronic audio-visual technology. If you do not have access to a laptop or smart phone that can add video, or if you are not comfortable with video, your appointment may be able to go forward using telephone only.

Just like an in-person visit, you will first be “checked in” by a medical assistant over the phone. This will include going over the reason for your visit, reviewing required forms for your visit including the telemedicine consent to treat form, reviewing your current medications and your preferred pharmacy, working with you to check your temperature, pulse, and any other vital signs. University Health Services will then provide a confidential, HIPAA-compliant link to you. At the time of your appointment, you will connect via the link with your provider for your visit. Please plan to be in a private area for this appointment. A telemedicine visit is documented in your medical record and billed to your insurance just like an in-person visit would be.

Who can schedule for Telemedicine visits?

Only patients who are physically located in the state of Oregon at the time of the visit are eligible for telemedicine visits.

What are the limitations of telemedicine?

Nothing can fully replace a person-to-person visit in an examination room, and a telemedicine visit has known limitations that are important to understand. First, there is always the possibility for technical glitches that could result in incomplete transfer of information or lack of full communication. It is important to communicate if you are not experiencing adequate quality sound and video so we can address the issue immediately. Second, since a full physical examination cannot be conducted and diagnostic testing performed, your provider’s ability to fully assess and correctly diagnose some medical conditions may be limited. If needed, your provider will discuss this with you and come up with a plan for how best to care for you. If you are in the Eugene area, you may be asked to come in for an in-person visit, or to drop by the laboratory for diagnostic testing. If you are outside the Eugene area, you may be asked to seek care with a community provider or go to an urgent care clinic or local emergency department for appropriate care.

Is my telemedicine visit confidential and secure?

We have made every effort to ensure that your telemedicine visit is private and confidential, just as an in-person visit would be. It is important to know that all existing laws regarding privacy and security of your health information and copies of your medical record apply to this telemedicine visit and the audio and video information transmitted and received as part of this service. Any information you disclose during your telemedicine visit will be protected by the same privacy laws and regulations as an in-person visit. Having said that, as with any technology, there may be unanticipated technical glitches that could affect the privacy and confidentiality of your visit; we will work through those with you should they occur.

Will my telemedicine visit be recorded and stored?

No. Like an in-person visit, there will be no recording of your conversation, but your provider will certainly document your conversation, the physical findings, the assessment and your care plan in your medical chart. If you and your provider feel a need to document images in your medical record, alternative arrangements will be made to download those images to your patient portal.

Can I refuse or change my mind about a telemedicine visit?

You have the right to refuse a telemedicine visit or withdraw your consent for a telemedicine visit at any time. Doing so will not affect your right to future care at the UHS. You may also withdraw consent to extra personnel participating in telemedicine health services, but if such personnel are necessary to assist with providing the services, the telemedicine visit may have to stop. In these circumstances, we will work with you to come up with alternative arrangements to best meet your care needs.