Telehealth is quickly becoming a mainstay in the medical landscape. More and more often, practices are expected to have it in their toolbox, and have the ability to treat patients outside the office. Dermatology practices are in a great position to leverage telehealth to treat patients without requiring them to come into the office. Many hair, skin, and nail conditions can be checked through the use of video chat, keeping patients on track and a practice’s schedule full.
Checking Dermatological Conditions
One thing dermatology practices can accomplish via telehealth is checking conditions. Possible concerns such as rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and suspicious spots or moles can be viewed via a video call with a patient. This is especially helpful for patients who live in rural areas or are otherwise unable to make it into the office. These telemedicine visits can also be completed with encrypted messaging to share pictures and descriptions of the condition.
Dermatology providers can always decide they would rather see patients in person, but they can begin the process using telehealth. Providers can either start with a video call, or encrypted messaging to get patients to answer a questionnaire. With either option, a dermatologist can perform an inspection of the concern. Some of these conditions can be treated without a patient ever stepping into the office. If it’s a spot or mole that might need to be removed, providers can bring patients in for an in-person visit.
Maintain Chronic Care Plans
In the case of chronic care conditions, it’s possible for patients to start missing appointments. Patients can’t always take time off of work, or even feel like they don’t need to continue to come into the office. Keeping appointments on the schedule, especially in the case of check-ins, can be difficult for providers. With telehealth, it’s easier to keep those appointments and keep revenue flowing into the practice. Dermatologists can check in with patients during a quick video call, negating the need for the patient to come in. Without taking time off work, traveling, or finding childcare, it’s easier for patients to keep their appointments.
These quicker telemedicine visits are especially helpful at the beginning of a new care plan, or after a change in the plan has been made. Patients can send protected messages or images to address concerns as they arise. With a change of medication, reactions can be quickly addressed when the patient and provider can start a telehealth video call.
Prescribing Dermatology Medication
Another thing that dermatology providers can do with telemedicine is prescribe medication. In the case of follow ups to see how conditions progress, there are times where the next logical step is medication. Instead of making patients come in to see how the condition has, or hasn’t, improved and get a prescription, providers can conduct the check-in via video calls.
This is also helpful for dermatology providers who have patients with chronic conditions. If a patient has a flare up, and needs a new prescription for their medication, this can also be easily accomplished with telemedicine. The virtual visit still gives providers and patients the face to face time they need to ensure they’re making the right care decisions in a way that is more convenient. The best part? Instead of having a phone call for a new prescription, something that is not billable to insurance, even a quick telehealth visit can be billed.
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