The Clinic for Dermatology & Wellness, LLC Remains Committed to Treating Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic With the Help modmed® Telehealth
- Develop new operational workflows during COVID-19 pandemic
- Treat patients virtually with a video telemedicine platform
- Educate patients on how to use telehealth services
Key Benefits Experienced
- Provided patients with an easy-to-use telemedicine platform
- Streamlined remote workflows with all-in-one dermatology software
- Doubled telehealth patient volume by the third week
- Remained engaged with patients via telehealth services
The Clinic for Dermatology & Wellness, LLC shares how they are able to treat their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic by using modmed Telehealth.
“By the third week of utilizing modmed Telehealth, our virtual visit volume nearly doubled from when we first started and we anticipate that number to continue to grow. Many of our patients have expressed that their telehealth experience was simple and easy to use, and that they would likely request a telehealth visit again, even when pandemic restrictions are lifted.”
‒ JOSEPH ATZENBECK, LT, USN (Ret.), CEO
The Clinic for Dermatology & Wellness, LLC is a state of the art medical, surgical, aesthetics, dermatology and wellness clinic located in the heart of East Medford, Oregon. While their physical in-office services remain extremely limited due to the COVID-19 crisis, their providers are committed to continuing to treat patients virtually with modmed® Telehealth.
modmed Telehealth offers real-time audio and video capabilities integrated in the dermatology EHR system, EMA®, from Modernizing Medicine®. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Atzenbeck, LT, USN (Ret.) discusses his practice’s experience with modmed Telehealth and how his team is navigating these challenging times.
The Transition to Remote Operations
As this pandemic unfolded, like much of the country, Oregon was also put under an executive stay-at-home order from the governor to only see emergent cases in the office. We made the difficult decision to close our physical office and converted our staff to work fully remote, except when urgent conditions require in-office care.
Transitioning to remote operations is a unique management experience; we needed to deftly adjust our workflow in addition to restructuring both our internal and external communication practices. While the stay-at-home order is in effect, the dermatologic needs of our patients are still concerning and pressing. We want our patients to know we are here and open for their care; this is why we began using the new video telemedicine platform that is available to us in EMA, which Modernizing Medicine is making available at no additional charge during the pandemic.
The first step was working with our telecommunications group to begin using an app that allowed us to access our phone trees remotely. We also needed to ensure our entire team was properly outfitted with technology to utilize at home.
Fortunately our practice already utilized iPads to room patients, and with the newest iOS release, iPads can be used with both a keyboard and mouse, enabling the use of both EMA’s native iPad application and desktop website.
The next step was communicating to our patients that telehealth services were available. In addition to providing patients with instructions on our website on how to download the PocketPatient™ app, which is available for iPhone and Android device users, we also announced our new telehealth services on social media and e-blast, as well as implementing a new SEO campaign to help patients find us.
Our front office staff then focused on calling and helping patients get set up for their modmed Telehealth visits. The team converted all telehealth eligible patients on our schedule before the stay-at-home order to telehealth visits, as appropriate. We were able to do this by having our senior medical assistants scrub the schedule, denoting patients eligible for telehealth and those that must be seen in the office.
New Workflow, New Normal
Our medical director wanted all telehealth care to have both store-and-forward pictures, as well as the Oregon-required synchronous-video visit with a provider. This meant our front office needed to effectively communicate over the phone to our patients how to submit a virtual check-in for their scheduled telehealth appointment with a provider.
Over the phone, the front office was tasked to register any new patients, send and receive new patient paperwork using Adobe DocuSign (such as ID and insurance cards), schedule telehealth appointments, enable telehealth access and walk all patients through the PocketPatient app download and log-in instructions.
We determined early on that a centralized staff member, my office manager, needed to monitor virtual check-in submissions as they populate into the telehealth queue. This enables her to assign the staff and provider to each patient from start to finish. We think of it as the check-in and rooming process of the patient, it’s just done remotely.
Prior to the telehealth visit with a provider, patients send pictures of their dermatologic concerns enabling our medical assistant to start the review of systems and clipboard review in EMA over the phone. Once complete, we then have the provider initiate the telehealth-synchronous video visit at the patient’s scheduled appointment time. The goal is to continue to provide great patient care just like we would in our office and as streamlined as possible for our patients.
Personalized Patient Care From Home
Our providers have seen various cases via modmed Telehealth, with the most frequent being acne, focused lesion, and rash patients. Specifically for our Accutane patients, follow-up visits are a convenient way to track a patient’s progress safely from the comfort of their own home. We expect many of our Accutane patients to opt for telehealth follow-ups going forward, as they have all expressed how much they preferred the virtual visit.
The Future of Telehealth
While our telehealth patient encounters are low compared to our pre-COVID-19 volume, we are encouraged that patients are seeing the benefit of telehealth services. By the third week of utilizing modmed Telehealth, our virtual visit patient volume doubled from when we first started and we anticipate that number to continue to grow.
Many of our patients have expressed that their telehealth experience was simple and easy to use, and that they would likely request a telehealth visit again, even when pandemic restrictions are lifted. Patients are being cautious during this time of crisis and are thankful there is an opportunity to continue to receive dermatologic care in a safe setting, in the comfort of their home. modmed Telehealth has been a successful addition to our practice and will continue to be in the future.
LT, USN (Ret.), CEO
Joseph is a founding member of The Clinic for Dermatology & Wellness and serves as the chief executive officer and clinic administrator for the 4 provider, 16 employee team encompassing medical, surgical and aesthetic dermatology, as well as Mohs micrographic surgery. He is an honors graduate from the prestigious United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and holds a bachelor of science degree in control systems engineering. He is currently working towards his master of health administration at Cornell University and expects to graduate December 2021.
Joseph deployed on seven submarine missions vital to national security. With extensive experience and success at sea, he was selected for the position of deputy director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Hawaii filed site Security Operations Center 24/7 intelligence watch floor.
He is known for his extreme attention to detail and step-by-step planning processes to ensure seamless operations and minimal friction points. In his role at the NSA, which conducts operations on behalf of military and other intelligence agency customers, Joseph also gained valuable insight into multi-agency, multi-faceted, multi-national, multiple product line, military, civilian, and contract operations conducted in a highly classified environment.
Joseph was medically retired from active duty in November 2014 and although a disabled veteran, he remains a capable and determined leader. While no longer eligible for military service, he desires to be a productive member of society and a top-top employer. His experience with customer service and leadership expectation management, employee concerns (military, civilian and contractor), staffing and scheduling of personnel, and dual geographically separate campus operations on a 24/7, make him an invaluable member of our team.