Rewind, Replay, Revisit

ToniAnne and JoAnn Ambrosio

Ever wished you could replay exactly what your physician told you during your office visit? With a new patient software platform developed by the Division of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, you can.

Consider the case of JoAnn Ambrosio, who was growing increasingly concerned about the fainting spells her daughter was having.

“In the mornings, she would have a coughing fit and then pass out,” JoAnn said. “It was very frightening for me, especially because ToniAnne has Down syndrome. We went to several physicians and eventually had an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging scan] of her brain performed.”

When the Ambrosios consulted David Langer, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, his review of the MRI confirmed that ToniAnne had Moyamoya disease. This relatively rare condition is caused by blocked arteries in the base of the brain and causes stroke-like symptoms.

A Powerful Resource

“In the office, when I found out ToniAnne’s diagnosis, I was in total disbelief,” JoAnn said. “I had no idea what Moyamoya disease was, and I was in total shock that she would have to have brain surgery.”

Dr. Langer let JoAnn know that, once she got home, she could open an email containing a video podcast of her office visit — a resource that turned out to be incredibly helpful as JoAnn was processing the news about her daughter.

“The podcast was amazing because everything I heard during the office visit went in one ear and out the other because I was so nervous,” JoAnn said. “When I watched the podcast, I was able to understand exactly what was wrong and how he was going to fix it.”

“Patients deserve to have their medical visits recorded and delivered to them in a way they understand and on devices they use at home,” said Dr. Langer, who co-founded a company called CirrusHealth with the help of the North Shore-LIJ Health System to develop the software platform. “The mobile office visit records your entire session with a physician and includes specific instructions, diagnosis and information about follow-up care. You can then access this video from your computer or mobile device.”

Moving to the Future

The mobile office visit for Dr. Langer’s neurosurgical patients is just the first step in a new approach to electronic medical records and discharge instructions at Lenox Hill Hospital. In addition to innovating the platform for recording office visits, Dr. Langer and his team are developing an app that will offer patients a comprehensive resource for all their health care information.

Known as a transition-of-care app, this tool will allow patients to:

  • View recordings of all bedside and office interactions with physicians
  • Review medications prescribed or given during a hospital stay
  • Remotely view their MRIs, X-rays and other medical images
  • Review discharge instructions and details regarding the need for any follow-up care

“The goal is to reduce readmission rates to the hospital, improve patient satisfaction and allow personalized and easy access to your medical records,” Dr. Langer said. “This is especially important for procedures such as wound care, breastfeeding or other modes of care that can benefit from having a picture or video demonstration at home. You can get on YouTube and see videos of how to do just about anything, but we want to make them patient-specific.”

Right now, Lenox Hill Hospital is developing the transition-of-care app for obstetrics, orthopedics and cardiology, with future expansion plans to include all of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

Better Together

Today, the Ambrosios are doing well.

“ToniAnne is doing great and hasn’t had any episodes,” JoAnn said. “Between the podcast and Dr. Langer answering my questions in person, he and his team were amazing. If every doctor were like him, we’d be in great shape.”

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