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Global Patient Services Fall 2011

Patient Experience

A Bridge to Cancer Care

When my doctor in Abaco, Bahamas, discovered a lump in my breast, I was immediately referred to Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston. I knew about Cleveland Clinic Florida because my sisters had received medical care there, and I was impressed with how they were treated. My sisters spoke very highly of their experiences, so it was very easy for me to make the decision to go there to see an oncologist.

The staff at Cleveland Clinic made me and my daughter feel like part of their family—we met so many good people who wanted to help us. And that made all the difference. The entire process was smooth: my appointments were arranged for me, and Cleveland Clinic staff helped me and my daughter find living arrangements. When you are fighting cancer, a smile gives you so much strength. We felt completely supported by everyone at Cleveland Clinic during the entire journey.

Plus, the doctors wasted no time after I arrived with my diagnosis. Within three days, I had a mammogram, ultrasounds, biopsies and results. I knew what the next steps in my treatment were before the end of the week. This sense of urgency about my care was encouraging. I thought, ‘This is amazing.’ Everyone was accommodating. And my doctor at Cleveland Clinic regularly calls my home doctor in Abaco to provide updates about my care. The staff and coordinators at Cleveland Clinic Global Patient Services take care all of the details so you can focus on healing. And that is what I’ve been doing the last several months.

I have one more appointment for radiation and then my journey will be over. I will always be grateful for Cleveland Clinic Florida. I have peace of mind knowing I made the best choice for my healthcare and my family.

Spotlight On

Global Patient Services at Cleveland Clinic Florida

There’s one Cleveland Clinic and one mission—to put patients first, always. Global Patient Services (GPS) extends this promise and Cleveland Clinic’s world-renowned medical services to the international community. The GPS team of dedicated professionals ensures that patients who travel to any Cleveland Clinic hospital experience the best possible care.

The GPS office at Cleveland Clinic Florida reflects our long-time commitment to the international community. “The two Cleveland Clinic Global Patient Services offices, in Ohio and Florida, work in tandem, and they are here to facilitate every detail of a patient’s experience as part of our commitment to patients first,” says Marnie Wirks, director of Global Patient Services and Physician Relations at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

From coordinating travel to ensuring a seamless transition from the patients’ home countries to Cleveland Clinic, GPS acts as an exclusive, dedicated concierge. Every detail of patients’ care is considered, and patients’ families are welcomed with open arms. GPS staff goes the extra mile to ensure that international patients feel at home when they travel to Cleveland Clinic for care.

Now with Florida GPS’s new vice president Dr. Antonio Briceño, Cleveland Clinic Florida is strengthening its international patient outreach efforts so more patients from neighboring countries can receive top-rated care at the South Florida location. Additionally, Briceño wants to build bridges between physicians at Cleveland Clinic and in Latin America and the Caribbean to create a broader community of care. The Global Physician Associate program offers educational opportunities for international physicians. “Through our innovative Global Physician Associate program, we invite international physicians to experience first-hand our commitment to medical research, education and medical collaboration,” Briceño says.

Meanwhile, assisting in the continuity of care international patients experience at Cleveland Clinic are tools like MyChart for giving patients access to medical records from anywhere in the world, and DrConnect, which gives physicians abroad access to medical records for patients who are referred to Cleveland Clinic.

“Cleveland Clinic has been a hospital of choice for international patients, and we are working to increase the awareness of our facility in Florida for patients in the Caribbean and Latin America,” Wirks says. “Cleveland Clinic is committed to the international medical community as a respected world leader in medicine and patient care.”

MyConsult® Online Medical Second Opinion Program

Eliminating the Geographic Barriers to Quality Care

According to the old real estate adage, a property’s value is determined by three things: location, location, location. But for the individuals who face a life-threatening or life-altering medical diagnosis, physical location should not be a barrier to obtaining what could be truly a life-changing second opinion.

Since 2001, Cleveland Clinic’s MyConsult online medical second opinion program has been fundamentally changing the healthcare landscape for patients the world over by providing access to the expertise of Cleveland Clinic specialists through a secure, web-based environment.

There are more than 1,200 diagnoses for which patients may request an online medical second opinion via MyConsult. The site includes frequently asked questions specific to the MyConsult process. It also offers a view of a sample consultation and provides first-hand accounts from patients who have used the service.

Requesting a MyConsult online medical second opinion is easy:

  1. Create a secure account with a unique user name and password.
  2. Select your current diagnosis and fill out the online medical questionnaire.
  3. Send the required supporting documentation, such as clinical notes from physicians, imaging studies such as X-ray films and laboratory test results from the physician providing the first opinion.
  4. In approximately 10-14 business days, you will be able to view the completed second opinion in your secure account on the MyConsult website. Within a day or two, you will receive a follow-up e-mail confirming receipt of the report and asking if you have any follow-up questions about the MyConsult report.

From there, you can discuss the results of your online consultation with your hometown physician and confidently proceed with the original course of treatment, modify the therapy by including an alternative treatment suggested in the MyConsult online second opinion or even arrange to visit Cleveland Clinic for on-site care.

To date, Cleveland Clinic’s MyConsult online medical second opinion program has connected patients from more than 80 countries to the medical expertise of Cleveland Clinic’s internationally-recognized physician specialists.

For more information about MyConsult secure online services, please visit

U.S.News & World Report

Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida Ranked Among Nation’s Best Hospitals
by U.S.News & World Report

Cleveland Clinic continues a tradition of excellence as one of America’s top four hospitals, and the best hospital to receive cardiac care in the country according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2011-12 Best Hospitals rankings. For the 17th consecutive year, Cleveland Clinic’s heart program has ranked No. 1 in the nation. Read more about Cleveland Clinic’s nationally ranked specialties.

Cleveland Clinic Florida was recognized as one of America’s best hospitals for gastroenterology, ranking No. 19 in the country. Plus, or the second year in a row, the hospital was named No. 2 in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area and best hospital in Broward County, Fla. Read more about Cleveland Clinic Florida’s national recognition.

Chat With Us – Online Health Questions, Answered

Web chats and transcripts give you 24/7 access to health information

Wish a Cleveland Clinic physician could stop in at your home to answer your health questions and concerns? With our web chats and transcripts, the health information you’re looking for is just a click away and you can access it any time of day. Connect and participate in our live forums featuring Cleveland Clinic physicians and health educators. Or, read transcripts at your convenience. These make getting answers easy no matter your time zone.

Participate in a live chat: Visit our web chat homepage and create a user name and password. Your user name will be visible if you post questions during the chat, so be sure not to choose your real name or email address.

Ask questions: To submit a question during a web chat, type into the text box below the chat display and press enter. Or, click the ask button. Physicians will answer as many questions as possible during the chat.

Read transcripts: Click on the transcript tab at the top of the web chat page and you will find links to heart and vascular and general health information transcripts.

Access a variety of topics: Whether you want to know more about abnormal heart rhythm or you want to find out more about a prescription medication, there are dozens of topics available in the transcripts section of the site. Upcoming chats are listed on the main web chat page.

Find more information: After viewing a web chat or transcript, you may decide to contact Cleveland Clinic. On the web chat page, you can easily access the online Cleveland Clinic phone directory or request a second opinion.

Get started: Visit us online or call 800.223.2273 if you have questions.

Recipe Corner

From the latest issue of Children's Health Essentials eNews

Healthy Zucchini Bread
Made With Applesauce and Flaxseed

This zucchini bread recipe is lower in fat and cholesterol than other recipes and is safe for those with egg allergies. The ground flaxseed and water mixture serves as an egg substitute, and the applesauce replaces the oil.