In the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, people are coming together to keep each other safe and healthy. At U.S. Dermatology Partners, our goals for patient care have always been centered around maintaining our patients’ health and wellbeing, and that is even more important at these challenging times. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our offices are doing their utmost to maintain rigorous cleaning and sanitation standards, offer virtual waiting room options to encourage social distancing, and limit the numbers of people in the office. Even with these precautions, we still encourage patients to schedule teledermatology appointments whenever possible. According to Dr. Bobbak (Bobby) Mansouri of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Tyler and Lindale, Texas, “Nearly 200 of our clinicians are now offering teledermatology appointments. We have found that our patients and clinicians are adjusting to this new approach to delivering quality care really well. I would suggest to anyone who feels they need dermatologic care or has a follow-up visit with one of our clinicians that they wish to keep, please consider a virtual online appointment.”
Why We’re Recommending Teledermatology Visits
Our skilled dermatologists and knowledgeable team members are committed to the health of our communities, and we have worked hard to establish relationships with our patients and their caregivers. We love seeing people for regular appointments and helping them with skin health concerns, and we look forward to getting back to these in-person visits again. In the meantime, we are all doing our best to ensure our patients and members of our communities have the greatest chance of staying healthy.
To do our part to flatten the curve and keep our patients and healthcare workers healthy, we are encouraging teledermatology appointments for non-emergency visits. While we understand this is a new experience for the majority of our patients, telehealth visits can offer many benefits, including:
- Safety – No need to worry about unnecessary exposure.
- Time – You won’t have to drive in to see us, take off work, or even leave home.
- Turnaround – We can see most patients within 24 hours of their request and electronically submit prescriptions the same day.
How Telehealth Appointments with U.S. Dermatology Partners Work
Telehealth appointments have been available for a variety of healthcare needs for more than a decade, but only in the past few years have these virtual appointments really taken off. Teledermatology is a relatively new use for online telehealth appointments, but it has been especially beneficial in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When you call to schedule a new teledermatology appointment or request to change your in-office session to a virtual visit, one of our team members will be happy to walk through the process with you, discuss what devices you can use, and help you prepare for your appointment.
We use a variety of telehealth platforms that allow for the greatest flexibility while still protecting our patients’ private information and offering consistent treatment. Once you’re logged into the specific telehealth platform you and your dermatologist select, you can conduct a normal office visit via video chat. To access our telehealth platform, you’ll need a phone, computer, or tablet with internet access, a camera, and a microphone. For existing patients who don’t wish to video chat, we may also be able to offer some basic treatment recommendations via email where you can share images and symptoms. Then, we can chat over the phone.
Dr. Mansouri says, “We are all doing our utmost to offer online dermatology visits to allow patients to continue to have access to quality skin care during this pandemic. We’ve put together how-to information for our clients, and our dedicated team members are going above and beyond to walk patients through the process. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help.”
Do I Get to See My Regular Dermatologist?
Whenever possible, we will schedule your online dermatology appointment with your regular dermatologist. If you request your visit online, make sure to select your regular office location and include that you would prefer to visit with a specific dermatologist within the message section on the request form. When we’re not able to schedule a visit with your preferred provider, one of our team members will let you know when they call to finalize your appointment details. If you do need to have a session with a different dermatologist, you should rest assured that your dermatologist will be kept up to date on your information through our Electronic Health Record platform.
States Where Teledermatology is Available
We are working to offer teledermatology services to as many people as possible. Currently, we are able to provide telehealth visits for patients who live in the following states: Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Virginia, Maryland.
Conditions Treated Using Teledermatology
There are many factors taken into consideration to determine whether or not a condition can be treated via teledermatology. Insurance coverage is one factor. We work with a variety of insurance providers to ensure you receive the maximum benefits, but insurers do set limits on what treatments can be covered when using virtual appointments. From the perspective of your dermatologist, we want to make sure we are only offering teledermatology services for conditions that can be thoroughly examined and accurately diagnosed via video appointment.
We can offer follow-up appointments after a treatment, checkup visits for our current patients with chronic skin conditions, and provide assessment and treatment recommendations for more than 100 common skin conditions, including:
- Cold sore
- Actinic Keratosis
- Athlete’s Foot
- Cold Sores
- Cosmetic Consultations
- Genital Herpes
- Genital Warts
- Hair Loss
- Jock Itch
- Keratosis Pilaris
- Lichen Planus
- Medication Refill
- Molluscum Contagiosum
- Nail Fungus
- Poison Ivy
- Post Treatment Concerns
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
Keeping Your Session Secure
We understand that you may be concerned about the privacy and security of your video session, and our team is taking every precaution to keep your personal information private and safe. There are some additional steps you can take to ensure your session is secure, including:
- Choose a personal computer, phone, or tablet that is not shared with other people.
- Make sure you are in a private room with a locked door when possible
- Password protect your device and use a strong password (12+ characters, combining upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols)
- Don’t share passwords
- Log out of telehealth applications after your session
- Clear your browser history, cache, and cookies after each online visit
Ready to Get Started?
If you’re interested in virtual dermatology appointments with U.S. Dermatology Partners, please take a few moments to complete our online request form. Someone will be in touch soon to discuss your teledermatology appointment. If you’re a current patient with an upcoming appointment that you would like to change to a telehealth visit, call your local office and ask about your options. We’re here to help!
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