An update from our Chief Medical Officer:
Many of our providers are probably aware of the American Academy of Dermatology’s new COVID-19 Dermatology Registry. Given the recent identification of many dermatologic manifestations of COVID-19 infection, the AAD is compiling a registry of these cases and I am aware from QDP colleagues of several cases of chilblains and other skin conditions already seen in our practices.
The Academy has been working hard to elevate the perception that dermatology provides very high value with its “SkinSerious” media campaign, highlighting us as “integral partners in health care, treating serious conditions, working as partners, improving lives”. This is a perfect opportunity for all dermatology providers to contribute to this effort to demonstrate our worth to the greater medical community.
Also, this week I will begin working with Alan, the Operations teams, and many of you to develop our comprehensive plans for reopening and restructuring our QDP practices post-COVID. When and how this occurs remains to be determined as our various COVID curves flatten and states and cities begin to loosen restrictions. These plans and guidance will include both general and specific recommendations and will need to be tailored to each practice, facility and market. We need your input and I thank many of you in advance for sharing suggestions on how to help keep patients and staff safe while providing our high level of compassionate, patient-focused quality care. It will be a team effort for sure and one that providers and all QDP team members will guide and help lead over the coming weeks. For those providers who have not yet completed the TeleDerm Survey, please do so by the end of today Monday April 20. This is very important for us to continuously improve the program.
Regarding ‘reopening’, I would like to share a very relevant article from Kaiser Health News today entitled ‘It’s Not Over Until It’s Over’: 5 Things To Know About Hitting The COVID-19 Peak. While there is good reason for optimism that we have flattened most curves around the country, please remember the goal of these mitigation efforts was to extend the duration of infections to prevent surges like in Italy that overwhelmed ICUs and ventilator capacity and to provide time to develop treatments and a vaccine. These social distancing measures will definitely make this pandemic last longer, although at a lower level of acuity. We can’t let our guards down too early and should expect to maintain many of these measures through 2020. I recognize that many of us, myself included, have questioned what household items might cause infection and how best to stay safe (and sane!). I am therefore including a great article today from the New York Times entitled Is the Virus on My Clothes? My Shoes? My Hair? My Newspaper? that poses these questions to infectious disease and other experts. We need to remain careful and focused, but their answers were overall very reassuring and worthwhile to embrace.
Thank you and stay well!