Dr. Sal Vasireddy
Dr. Sal Vasireddy: I Choose Better Communication
I am Dr. Sal Vasireddy, and I choose better communication with patients, families and other providers at Baptist Cancer Center.
Dr. Sailendra ‘Sal’ Vasireddy is an experienced oncologist and one of the original Baptist Cancer Center providers. His clinic transitioned from a university affiliation to a private practice group and, finally, to becoming a significant member of the hospital-based Baptist Cancer Center.
Dr. Vasireddy is the kind of doctor that wants to know everything about his patients, not just their medical profile. He also believes that proper care involves collaboration among a number of experts in various fields. To ensure he understands his patients’ lives inside and outside the hospital, and to properly personalize and coordinate their care, Dr. Vasireddy relies on what he considers the doctor-patient relationship’s most important tool: communication.
“We saw all the benefits that could be provided by working with Baptist, the resources that are available, the talent in the people who are there to help take care of our patients,” said Dr. Vasireddy, who specializes in hematology. “And this may seem like an ad for our electronic medical records system. But I think it is one of the key things in patient care because it allows for instant communication with other providers, staff and patients, and gives access to countless educational pieces and other resources on demand.”
Electronic medical records, also referred to as electronic health records or EHRs, are secure databases that store medical information for patients. More important, EHRs allow doctors and patients to communicate through secure messages and patient portals at anytime from anywhere. Baptist Cancer Center has made significant investments in its EHR system to ensure performance, accuracy, speed and security so providers can respond in real time to patients’ needs.
“Being in a central place like Memphis, we see people come in from all parts of the Mid-South to get specialized care or input,” said Dr. Vasireddy. “Having the ability to communicate medical information with their providers back home immediately and securely is to me profoundly game-changing.”
For Dr. Vasireddy, communication with providers is key to helping patients navigate their cancer journey.
“People have lots of stresses, whether they are financial, environmental or physical stresses, and I feel our EMR system offers many resources to address those needs on behalf of our patients,” he said. “It’s not just about prescribing a medication. It’s about providing an avenue for patients and families to be able to access information and providers who can help them address those various concerns.”
Staying connected and engaged is not just important for patients, but for the network of providers that collaborate to provide all-around excellent care. Dr. Vasireddy says it is also vital for doctors to communicate and share ideas whenever possible.
“I like to tell my patients that I am presenting their case at a conference where other experts can provide insight on their particular cancer journey,” he said. “They’re going to get input from knowledgeable, experienced pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons from all over, and together we’ll come up with what is the best plan for them. And I think that is very reassuring to patients that they are going to get all those expert opinions.”
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