The operational costs of video-based telehealth solutions are “huge” according to Nathaniel Lacktman, a healthcare lawyer who specializes in telemedicine. “It’s called friction” because coordinating the scheduling between patient and physician availability can be “a real pain.”
To combat the inefficiencies of video visits, larger healthcare organizations like Kaiser Permanente employ asynchronous telehealth solutions to triage patients online without draining their providers’ capacity.
The advantages of store-and-forward telemedicine can also be realized by private practices. According to one office manager from Los Angeles, “By offering both store-and-forward and video visits, we have been able to grow our patient base by 17% during COVID. New patients tell us they did not want to wait weeks for the next available video visit with their regular doctor or they did not feel comfortable going into the office.”
COVID-19 has made telehealth an essential component of dermatological care. The sudden shift to virtual care has left many dermatology practices scrambling to figure out the best way to handle their Accutane patients online.
Other practices have turned to HealthLens for help.
HealthLens is the only store-and-forward telemedicine platform with an integrated Accutane workflow for managing isotretinoin patients with telehealth. The entire workflow is simplified down to a four-step process that is easy for both female and male patients to follow.
How It Works
The patient submits an online visit with acne photos and history of present illness (HPI).
The dermatologist recommends isotretinoin and uses HealthLens’ file-sharing tool to send the patient the required iPledge guide & consent forms. Male patients also receive a lab slip at this point.
The patient submits a second online visit with the completed forms & other information required by their doctor. Female patients submit a photo of their home pregnancy test.
The dermatologist registers the patient with iPledge.
If the patient is female, the dermatologist again uses HealthLens’ file-sharing tool to send them a lab slip for the required blood work due in 30 days.
For male patients, the doctor prescribes isotretinoin with instructions for starting the medication through Healthlens’ integrated eRx tool.
Female patients submit a third online visit with a statement acknowledging they have completed the required lab work and iPledge questions 30 days after the second online visit.
The dermatologist uses HealthLens’ eRx tool to prescribe isotretinoin to the female patient with instructions for starting the medication.
Every 30 days, the patient submits an online follow-up visit so their dermatologist can update their iPledge status and issue a refill. Female patients include a photo of their home pregnancy test with their clinical photos.
HealthLens’ Automated Follow-Up feature allows the physician to schedule an online follow-up with just a click.
HealthLens’ integrated Accutane workflow eliminates the stress of managing your isotretinoin patients online. In fact, many dermatologists report that it is easier to manage their isotretinoin patients on HealthLens than in their office.
Virtual care is exhausting. Here are 3 things doctors should do before every online visit to practice telehealth more efficiently:
1. Get photos of the condition Tell the patient to take a few photos of their condition and send them to you beforehand. Most skin conditions can be immediately diagnosed from a photo.
2. Obtain medical history Ask the patient to provide details about their symptoms and any previously tried & failed treatments ahead of time. This way you can spend the time with the patient reviewing their diagnosis and treatment plan instead of documenting the complaint.
3. Collect a visit fee Have the patient pay for their share of the visit with a credit card before you evaluate the condition. No more chasing patients for uncollected fees.
Obtaining this information prior to a telehealth visit requires substantial legwork by your staff. HealthLens does it automatically.
Patients seeking home phototherapy no longer have to wait weeks to be seen by a dermatologist. Through a new partnership between HealthLens and Daavlin called DaavlinDirect, patients can hop on a computer or smartphone and connect with a board-certified physician in their state from the privacy of their home.
Within 1-2 business days, their physician will respond with a diagnosis and treatment plan, which includes a prescription and statement of medical necissity for qualified patients.
To learn more about how DaavlinDirect is improving patient access to home phototherapy, click here.
In cities like Los Angeles, there are thousands of doctors that a patient can choose from for an acne evaluation. The patient can read some reviews online and select a doctor in their city that fits the preferences.
When they call the office, the receptionist is able to fit them in at the end of the following day due to a cancellation. Sounds great, right? There is only one thing standing between them and their appointment, traffic.
Rather than endure the misery of idling in rush hour traffic for an hour, wouldn’t it make more sense to take a few photos of their acne with a smartphone and send it to a local dermatologist via HealthLens’ secure telemedicine platform? More and more patients are starting to think so.
So before you book an office appointment for 4 pm across town, consider using HealthLens to have your skin condition evaluated online by a doctor of your choosing. These online visits are covered by most insurances and patients typically get a diagnosis and treatment plan within 2 business days. If the treatment plan includes a prescription, that prescription is sent directly to the patient’s pharmacy.
Last year, HealthLens say an array of patients using its platform to connect with their provider remotely. Many of the online visits were for skin checks; however, there were a number of other use cases that presented themselves throughout the year. As more patients use HealthLens, we expect to see even more interesting cases from patients all over the world.
Last year a patient traveling through India was able to connect with his dermatologist in San Jose. HealthLens offered a prompt response to his concern about a newly developed rash.
The oldest patient treated on HealthLens was 81 years old and she used her iPad to submit the visit without the assistance of anyone. HealthLens saw a number of Medicare patients use the service even though Medicare does not cover store and forward telemedicine….yet. These Medicare patients often cited the convenience of not having to travel to the doctor’s office as the main reason for using HealthLens.
The youngest patient treated on HealthLens was 10 years old. This girl, with the help of her mother, was able to submit a virtual office visit to her doctor. HealthLens also connected hundreds of college students with the doctor they grew up visiting.
2016 showed steady growth both HealthLens and for the telemedicine market. Many HealthLens patients are continuing to use the platform over and over again. 2017 promises even more growth as more people are warming up to the idea of visiting their doctor online. HealthLens is excited to help facilitate this connectivity with the providers that patients know and trust.
One of the most appealing aspects of travelling is that it takes you out of your comfort zone and exposes you to new things – new sights, new foods, new people, and coincidentally, new hazards. No matter where you go or how many precautions you take, there is always a chance you will need medical attention at some point during your adventure.
Many countries that cater to tourists have clinics where you can stop in and get your ailment diagnosed and treated. These clinics, for the most part, are tolerable and usually resolve the issue. However, nothing beats the security and assurance of having your family doctor poised to offer their professional advice at a moment’s notice. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Nowadays, telemedicine is connecting patients with their doctors wherever there is wifi. For patients who want to connect with their own doctors, they choose HealthLens.
From Kathmandu to Ko Phi Phi, patients have been using HealthLens to get their symptoms evaluated by their doctors in the United States. It’s quick and HIPAA compliant, but most importantly, it lets the patients continue on their adventures.
If you are travelling this summer, don’t forget to bring HealthLens along for the journey. Your doctor will always be just one online visit away.