To help ensure patient and staff safety, APDerm®, the largest physician-led dermatology practice in New England, is offering virtual visits to patients in lieu of in-office visits. The telehealth services, known as Teledermatology or Telederm, allow for expedited virtual care, flexible appointments and personalized treatment plans from the safety and comfort of a patient’s home and via their own personal phone or video chat devices.
“Since our establishment in 1992, we have always put the health and safety of our patients, clinicians, and staff first. This includes having stringent protocols in place and adapting quickly during challenging times, like we now are experiencing with COVID-19,” said Rich Nee, Chief Executive Officer for APDerm. “We are proud to offer a reliable telehealth solution that enables us to continue providing quality care, while helping to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”
The APDerm team closed its offices days prior to any state mandated closures and worked quickly to safeguard patients, clinicians and staff.
“Our organization was unified in implementing the necessary protocols to ensure the health and safety of our patients and employees,” said Samuel D. Goos, MD, Founder of Adult & Pediatric Dermatology and Managing Partner of APDerm. “Some of our actions included the development and deployment of virtual visits, implementation of enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures, and training and execution of staff safety protocols. Additionally, and in collaboration with our team, we created internal task forces to coordinate all activities and protocols and ensure the delivery of necessary communications.”
Many patients with true dermatologic emergencies are inclined to go straight to an emergency room, although that may not be their best option. To ensure access to specialized care, APDerm is continuing to see patients in-person for urgent issues, such as painful skin lesions, very uncomfortable rashes, or growths that may have developed into aggressive cancers. This also helps to alleviate traffic flow to already inundated urgent care centers and ERs, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patients without urgent needs are encouraged to utilize the Telederm services, providing them access to a clinical consultation in real-time using face-to-face synchronous Telederm video visits or by sending photographs via asynchronous Telederm. Through the program, clinicians can diagnose and treat many skin, hair and nail conditions. This includes, but is not limited to acne, worrisome spots and growths, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, eczema and other rashes. Additionally, clinicians can prescribe and refill prescriptions as needed.
“Our Telederm program, which is safe, efficient, easy to use and convenient, was strategically designed with both the patient and the clinician in mind,” said Oluwatobi (Tobi) Ogbechie-Godec, MD. Ogbechie-Godec also serves as the company’s Director of Clinical Strategy and Quality Assurance and is spearheading the APDerm Teledermatology program. “Utilizing a hands-on approach, the team worked seamlessly to refine the program – addressing all needs from user-interface and functionality to training and support.”
APDerm has received positive feedback regarding its new Telederm service and plans to continue offering it to patients, as another consultative option, post-COVID-19. Additionally, as practices reopen, the company will continue following enhanced safety protocols such as extending appointment times to reduce foot traffic and utilizing remote check-in and check-out processes to minimize interactions.
“We are now uniquely positioned to continue treating patients without any interruption and are confident our new Teledermatology service will complement our existing suite of services, providing further value-added benefits to our patients,” said Nee. “Now and always, we stand committed to patient and staff safety, will continue to practice enhanced safety protocols, and thank everyone for their patience and unwavering support during this difficult time.”
During COVID-19, telehealth visits are now covered by Medicare and most insurances, and in many cases, co-pays are waived. To schedule a telehealth appointment, patients can visit www.apderm.com or call 978-354-7988.
APDerm® is the largest physician-led dermatology practice in New England, with 25 locations across New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Since 1992, the company’s board-certified physicians, clinicians, and skilled staff have been committed to delivering compassionate care, improving skin and changing lives, making the company the partner of choice for dermatology in New England. With a patient-centered care approach, and utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, the company offers full-scale innovative medical, surgical and cosmetic treatments to help patients look and feel their best.
APDerm and its practice brands are dedicated to meeting the needs of its patients and physicians, through personalized care, and the continuous expansion of resources and patient access. By partnering with exceptional practices to provide the highest quality of care and outcomes, the company continues to expand its family of practices, which includes: Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, PC; Associates in Dermatology; Boston Dermatology & Laser Center; Dermatology Associates, P.C.; Mystic Valley Dermatology Associates; and Dermatology Professionals, Inc. For more information or to learn more about partnership opportunities, please visit www.apderm.com.
Bonnie Strouse Sobrino