A Report on Teledermatology
As 2015 comes to a close, I want to share the most valuable lessons we’ve learned from operating a teledermatology solution.
Obviously, there are a lot of potential patients that can benefit from a teledermatology visit. Access to a dermatologist can sometimes be challenging and even if a patient has a scheduled appointment, making that appointment can often be difficult given our busy schedules. With that said, from what our dermatologists tell us, the best teledermatology candidates share some common characteristics. Cash pay patients: For many of these patients, teledermatology is usually a no-brainer given that a virtual visit can represent a significant discount to a in-person appointment. Patients with high-deductible insurance plans also experience the same benefit. Working parents: As mentioned before, getting to the clinic can be challenging and nobody realizes this more than busy parents. Established patients: While some patients choose a teledermatology visit as their initial care, we see the most volume from patients who have an established relationship with the dermatologist.
Most Common Diagnosis Treated
Over 40% of our telemedicine visits are for Acne. About a third are for Post-Op visits. As you might expect, the remaining patients are comprised of common dermatological conditions (Eczema, Rosacea, Psoriasis).
Our experience is in-line with what most published studies have found. Patients love it! Most of our patients report they are Very Satisfied with their telemedicine visit and the majority would recommend the service to a friend or family member. What is surprising is the wide age range of patients using telemedicine. We’ve seen patients from 18 all the way up to 74 years young!
Clinic workflow is vital to success in healthcare. Starting anything new, like teledermatology, can be disruptive to any effectively managed process and so we’ve monitored this closely. We’ve had to constantly improve how practices sign up patients, introducing new tear pads that allow clinic staff to offload the patient signup process. In addition, we’ve introduced a messaging system that streamlines questions patients have about their treatment plan.
A teledermatology solution without marketing support can make it difficult for a clinic to realize the full benefits of offering telemedicine. For this reason, we now provide a full suite of marketing assets to assist the clinic with ramping up telemedicine in their practice. Marketing is not a one-time thing–it is an ongoing activity that clinics just don’t have the time to do and we can now help support clinics with this aspect of their business.
Benefits Aren’t All Monetary
While teledermatology brings in revenue just as in-person visits do, the benefits are far greater than that. Teledermatology helps with patient retention. Those patients that miss their clinic visit now have the option to do a telemedicine visit–maintaining continuity of care and keeping that patient engaged with your practice. Practices using our platform have very high patient satisfaction and offering telemedicine helps maintain that level of satisfaction. Some benefits have no monetary value but help the dermatologist provide a very high-level of care and peace of mind. A great example of this are Post-Op visits. Now the dermatologist has a secure way see the healing progress after surgery and detect infections much earlier, all without sacrificing valuable clinic time for a simple check up. In fact, just last week our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Peña, performed a post-op visit with a patient who reported healing well but spotted an infection from the submitted pictures.
Want to learn more about MyDerm Portal and how we can help implement teledermatology in your dermatology practice? Schedule a demo at a time that works best for you http://mydermportal.com/myderm-portal-demo/