BLOG: Change: The State of Dermatology

There’s no shortage of articles discussing how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the world, including the practice of medicine. While some suggest that the human element may soon become obsolete, others argue that mankind won’t be so easily replaced. In fact, a recent article entitled, Why Artificial Intelligence Won’t Replace Doctors, says that clinicians should view AI as a tool rather than a threat, and embrace it as a way to better serve patients.

Source: Frost & Sullivan 2016 Transforming Healthcare Through AI Systems

Change often elicits fear and distrust. However, as the above mentioned article points out, change can also provide opportunity for improvement.

Change is Inevitable

Healthcare has been in a perpetual state of change for years. Physicians have grown accustomed to, yet weary of things like unfunded government mandates and commercial payors’ growing leverage.  “Patients not paperwork” has become the unofficial rally cry of physicians across America.

In Dermatology, this issue is compounded by the fact that demand for care is outpacing the supply. In some markets, patients must wait months to get an appointment. And, many practices struggle to recruit additional dermatologists to their practices. For example, a North Carolina-based practice tried unsuccessfully to recruit new dermatologists for years. After affiliating with QualDerm, two dermatologists joined the practice and helped expand patient access to care.

Dermatology is changing because physicians are seeking ways to enhance how they manage their practices. Allowing business professionals to manage the back office tasks like IT, HR and payor contract negotiation frees physicians to spend more time caring for patients.

Quality, Quotas & Questions

Anytime an industry goes through change, there will be both successes and failures. Hindsight may be 20/20, however, there are some telltale signs that can help predict which organizations are best positioned to succeed.

Physicians understand that clinical autonomy is key to providing quality care. QualDerm shares in this belief; affiliated physicians maintain their clinical autonomy and have zero quotas. What’s more, the physician-led QualDerm Quality Council is responsible for setting the organization’s quality and safety standards to further advance the clinical excellence of affiliated practices. In fact, physicians hold leadership roles throughout QualDerm to ensure quality care remains the core focus.

It is difficult to measure an organization’s culture from the outside. However, the reputations of its affiliated physicians are an indicator of how closely the organization adheres to its stated core values. Physicians who are known for their professional integrity and have dedicated their careers to helping advance dermatology would not choose to partner with an organization whose mission veered towards profits over patients.

Learn more about how QualDerm helps dermatology practices navigate change while enhancing quality of care.

Contact us to find out more about partnership opportunities or to discuss selling your practice.