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The many benefits of moving dermatology procedure follow ups online

Patients can save 111 minutes per visit on average, and dermatologists can see 3X ROI or more.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A patient visits a dermatologist to have a procedure performed (say, an excision of a skin lesion). Then, several post-procedure “check ins” will be required to make sure the wound is healing. The patient now has to schedule, travel to, and wait around for the 1-2 minutes of actual time with their doctor to follow up on the original procedure – and for the majority of these cases, the doctor’s verdict is: “looks good!” The office staff has to squeeze them in to the schedule, as well as ensure exam room and staff availability for each of these quick visits.

This seems like an awful lot of resource drain to handle such simple follow-up care visits – both in terms of the cost of everyone’s time and the overhead costs to the dermatology practice. For patients whose work schedules aren’t compatible with traditional doctor’s office hours, or whose schedules aren’t flexible, this poses even more of an added hassle. But these visits are necessary to ensure proper medical care to the patient, especially if the patient has a perceived concern.

Thanks to the expansion of teledermatology, that old way of doing things will quickly change. Our founder and chief medical officer, Mark P. Seraly, MD, talks in this video about why online dermatology visits applied to procedural follow ups bring so many benefits to an already-burgeoning practice and to busy patients:

Consider the ROI and tangible benefits to both doctor and patient who use online visits for handling post-procedure follow ups:

So let’s revise the narrative of our original story: After the patient’s procedure, they can simply login to the dermatologist’s app and upload a few photos of the wound area for their doctor to review through an online check-in visit. And this can be done “asynchronously,” meaning patient and doctor don’t even need to be logged in at the same time. No appointments. No travel. No adjusting work schedules. No office staff time. And no eating up of exam room appointment slots for other types of patients. If the doctor sees something concerning in the photos, only then do they ask the patient to come back in to the office for a physical exam and perhaps further treatment.

This will be one of the major areas that teledermatology will change the patient-provider dynamic and usher in better access – and ultimately better care.

If you are a dermatologist or practice interested in learning more about benefiting from this capability, please contact us.