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Understanding Your Telemedicine Appointment: FAQs

By Christine Sarkinen, MD

It seems in just a matter of weeks our world has turned upside down. As a doctor seeing women for all types of concerns, I want to assure patients that we are doing the best we can to minimize your exposure to COVID-19. That’s why we are offering telemedicine appointments – we know that a pandemic such as this doesn’t change immediate health concerns you have today.

You may have questions about telemedicine so we’ve prepared a Frequently Asked Questions about this technology. If we haven’t answered your questions, please call 763-587-7000.

What is telemedicine and what can I see you for?

Telemedicine is a way of providing health care services at a distance. As a patient, you are not in the clinic. Rather, you are in the privacy of your home or in your office at work. We offer telemedicine appointments for a range of concerns that include but aren’t limited to birth control, prenatal care for low-risk pregnancies, acute and chronic concerns, menopause, depression and much more.

How does it work?

Telemedicine uses technology and software so you can meet with your provider using videoconferencing capabilities by audio and video. At Oakdale, we use it to provide all types of services. All you need is a computer, tablet or smartphone. Today, we are using it for most appointments unless you need to be seen in the clinic.

How long are telemedicine appointments?

They may range from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on your needs.

Is telemedicine secure and private?

At Oakdale ObGyn, we use a system called Chiron, which assures the care you receive remotely by audio and video is secure and confidential. It is HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant.

Why use telemedicine?

Today, we are using telemedicine to protect you from exposure to COVID-19. When we aren’t fighting a pandemic, we use telemedicine to see women who are unable to get to our clinic for many reasons: they live out of state or several hours away; they aren’t able to leave work or family; or they are ill but are in need of medical care.

Is telemedicine covered by insurance?

In most case, this appointment type is covered by insurance but we encourage you to check with your insurer.

Can I switch from an in-clinic appointment to a telemedicine appointment?

Yes. Just call our scheduling department at 763-587-7000.