More Than 4,000 Appointments per Week
Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (ADCS), a national leader in dermatology care, today announced that it has gone from zero telehealth appointments in the first three months of 2020 to over 4,000 per week in mid-April.
“The combination of social distancing related to the coronavirus, popular use of smart phones and tablets with video capabilities, government approval of expanded access to telehealth during the pandemic, and technology already embedded in our practice management software platform resulted in rapid deployment and widespread acceptance of a telehealth option for our patients,” said Dr. Matt Leavitt, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ADCS. “We weren’t sure what demand would be, but we have been amazed at how eagerly patients, both existing and new, have adopted this approach to receiving care.”
Patients are calling with a wide range of dermatology concerns. Telehealth appointments have covered everything from treatments for acne and rashes to identifying aggressive squamous cell skin cancers, for which potentially life-saving emergency excisions were quickly arranged. Telehealth can effectively treat or diagnose many dermatologic conditions thanks to the enhanced quality of new smart phones and tablets.
“Under normal circumstances, in-person care is still preferred, but right now telehealth is a godsend for patients who need a dermatology consultation,” said Dr. Leavitt.
As various restrictions on normal business activities and non-essential clinical procedures were recommended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, ADCS closed most of its clinics in March, leaving open just a handful for emergency care in key locations. At the same time the organization moved quickly to establish a telehealth option. Online training programs were created for providers, and the ADCS website was updated to help patients schedule appointments online and navigate the simple telehealth video technology on their smartphones, tablets, and computers.
ADCS successfully hosted 182 telehealth appointments just two days after the offices closed. Those initial online visits allowed ADCS to refine the process. By the second week, ADCS was confident enough to reach out to thousands of patients whose appointments had been canceled by the clinic closures, inviting them to schedule telehealth appointments.
“That’s when we knew we had something patients really wanted,” said Dr. Leavitt. “By the middle of the second week, patients were making 1,500 appointments a day, about a third of whom are new to ADCS and finding us via our website.”
“The positive feedback from patients grateful for safe access to care while at home has been extremely gratifying,” said Dr. Leslie Capin, who normally sees patients at her Colorado practice in the Denver area. “It’s a joy to help them with their skin concerns and make a difference in their lives right now.”
“The positive feedback from patients grateful for safe access to care while at home has been extremely gratifying” - Dr. Capin
“It’s been such a privilege to be able to continue seeing my patients via telehealth while they are safe at home,” said Dr. Maria Yaldo, whose Michigan practice is between Southfield and Franklin, north of Detroit. “Telehealth visits are easy and can be done using any device with an internet connection and audio/visual capabilities.”
“I’ve known many of my patients for decades, and it is great to be able to continue serving them via telehealth during this crisis – it’s almost like making a house call,” said Dr. Jay Barnett, with offices in Rockville, Olney, and Annapolis, Maryland.
"Telehealth is a safe and efficient option for many patients in the current environment,” said Dr. Bill Steffes, who practices in Orlando, Florida. “I am proud to continue serving both new and established patients using this technology to keep everyone healthy and safe."
“Telehealth has enabled existing patients to continue their treatments without interruption, and new patients have found a convenient, safe way to establish a connection with a skin specialist,” said Dr. Savina Aneja, also in Orlando. “Our entire team is honored to be serving patients right now.”
Patients can schedule a Telehealth appointment at: https://www.advancedderm.com/services/telehealth -- or by calling 844.989.3376 (DERM).