Running a busy practice is no easy task. The good news, according to a expert dermatologists, is that there are several applications and gadgets that promise to help at least streamline what dermatologists do.
Running a busy practice is no easy task.
The good news, according to dermatologist Chris G. Adigun, M.D., is there are several applications and gadgets that promise to help at least streamline what dermatologists do.
ZocDoc (https://www.zocdoc.com/) is among the apps that have revolutionized scheduling, according to Dr. Adigun, who is practicing in Pinehurst until she opens her new practice in Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2016.
“ZocDoc … allows patients to filter doctors according to their insurance plans and, then, schedule an appointment directly with them-without ever picking up the phone. ZocDoc is compatible with the medical office’s scheduling system, so that this process happens seamlessly,” she says. “ZocDoc allows patients to be seen quickly and efficiently, because those slots that may open up from cancellations are immediately available. This process improves access from the patient’s experience, and maintains patient flow without empty slots from the dermatologist’s perspective.”
While teledermatology has been around for years, it lacked the research or the user-friendly platforms needed to take it to the mainstream, according to Dr. Adigun.
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“However, after years of research to support its efficacy and use, and the added benefit of the advent of smart phones, teledermatology has picked tremendously,” Dr. Adigun says. “There are numerous apps available now, including FirstDerm, Spruce, Direct Dermatology and SkinMDnow.
This allows patients [who] may be miles from an available dermatologist, or months until the next appointment, to have access to a dermatologist for evaluation, diagnosis, and even treatment-within hours.”
NEXT: Online concults
Tech-savvy dermatologists are now offering their patients the option of online consultations, using secure platforms, according to the dermatologist. The technology allows dermatologists to move less urgent, routine appointments online, freeing time in their schedules to allow for urgent visits. Online consults are a perk for patients who want the convenience.
“Some of these platforms include Klara (https://klara.com/), Virtual Dermatologic (http://www.virtualderm.net/), and SkyMD (https://www.skymd.com/),” says Dr. Adigun, who uses Klara on her website.
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Yet another tool for online cosmetic consults is Zwivel (https://www.zwivel.com/). The online platform is HIPAA compliant, so users can upload photos and video to talk with their doctors from their computers or smart phones. Zwivel is the brainchild of Paramus, N.J., plastic surgeon Gary D. Breslow, M.D.
Dermatologist Elizabeth Rostan, M.D., of Charlotte, N.C., uses Zwivel on her website http://www.charlotteskinandlaser.com/elizabeth-rostan.cfm. Zwivel, she says, is a convenient way for patients and potential patients to research their treatment options.
“Zwivel provides a secure, easy-to-use platform that allows us to review their concerns and provide an idea of the treatments needed and general pricing-all before they step foot in our office,” Dr. Rostan says.
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The technology helps the dermatologist in two ways, according to Dr. Rostan: “First, it allows us to engage with prospect patients early during their research phase of the buying process. This helps credential our practice as an expert in the space and helps reduce the chance of a prospect looking elsewhere for services Second, Zwivel works to increase our consult-to-procedure conversion rate. Patients who come in for a full consultation after using Zwivel are ready to make a buying decision, eliminating wasted time for both the patient and our practice.”
NEXT: Don't forget social media tools
Social media has given dermatologists forums on which to connect with patients beyond their office visits, according to Dr. Adigun.
“Through highly utilized platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, dermatologists are able to follow and comment on medical news and educate their patients about new and existing treatments, as well as address medical myths head-on,” Dr. Adigun says.
Dr. Rostan has no relevant disclosures.
Dr. Adigun is a consultant with Klara.