Gregory Ambrosio’s job as an international financial consultant requires him to travel abroad for up to six months of each year. However, it doesn’t stop him from staying on top of his health care. He uses Duke’s secure patient website, Duke MyChart, to make appointments, ask his doctors questions, and pay his bills – all from the world’s most remote locations.
Coordinating Health Care Across Time Zones
When Gregory Ambrosio moved to Wake Forest last year, he chose Duke for his health care because of its reputation. He stays with Duke because of the care he’s received, and the ease with which he can coordinate that care.
“I was pretty excited about it,” he said about the Duke MyChart system. “I see about six different doctors for various things. I knew it would help me stay connected.”
Duke MyChart came in handy last year, after Ambrosio, 60, hurt his shoulder while carrying luggage in London. When he returned home, he made an appointment with Donald O’Malley, MD, a Duke orthopaedic surgeon, who was recommended by his primary care doctor. “He told me I had torn my rotator cuff,” Ambrosio recalled. “I needed to have surgery.”
Ambrosio scheduled the procedure for the end of December 2014, when he had a lull in his busy travel schedule. Knowing there could be issues with some of his medications, he used Duke MyChart to message his Duke hematologist and endocrinologist so they could coordinate his medication usage before and after surgery with Dr. O’Malley.
He did all of this from a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
“It is extremely important for me to be able to communicate this way," Ambrosio said. “I’m often in a different time zone where there may be a 10- or 12-hour time difference. I would have to get up in the middle of the night to make or get a phone call. My doctors and I constantly communicate through the system.”
O'Malley says Duke MyChart has made communicating easier for patients like Ambrosio, as well as doctors. “MyChart has made it much easier than the traditional way of waiting for a phone call or having to deal with e-mail,” he said. “If you set it up wisely, you have the ability to do so much of the simpler stuff with just the press of a button, and it’s all documented in the MyChart system.”
Help Is As Easy As Logging On
With his surgery behind him, and his physical therapy completed, Ambrosio is back in the air with a busy travel schedule for 2015. He travels with the knowledge that communicating with his doctors, reviewing their instructions, seeing his test results and being alerted when he needs to update his vaccinations is as easy as logging on to his computer.