May 11, 2020

An update from our Chief Medical Officer:

“It’s not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that’s most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin

If this pandemic doesn’t qualify as “change” then nothing does. It may become the most defining moment in each of our lives, the way WWII, the Civil Rights movement, or 9/11 did before.

If we consider the singular focal point of the entire company and each our own roles, the patient remains at the core of everything we do. We know we have always prioritized treating patients with an emphasis on quality, safety and compassion.  And managing both this patient-centric care and the entire staff that enables it during the challenges of COVID-19 has been consuming the management team.

Now that we have successfully navigated the Crisis stage of COVID-19, all of QualDerm is moving into our Reopening phase. While we don’t know exactly what the ‘new normal’ will look like, we do know it will be quite different. And we also know we will need to continue to quickly identify trends, adapt and respond. We don’t want to just survive, but rather to thrive by gaining market share by continuing to prove our value to patients as a safe and top quality provider.  Here is a link to a recently developed video conversation/webcast between Alan and me as we discuss how QualDerm is guiding the practice re-opening process in a safe, mindful manner.  (Coffee & Conversations link)


In this light, we also need to explore better ways to prioritize the patient before, during and after the actual clinical encounter, whether that is in office or by TeleDerm. We need to ask ourselves and answer these vital questions.

How can we better communicate with patients?

How do we let them know we are open?

…our offices are safe and clean?

…we are paying extra attention to more vulnerable patients?

…we want their feedback and endorsement?

How do we recruit new patients needing care or seeking a change?

How do we avoid alienating or frustrating our own patient base by poor/absent communications?

…or by difficult scheduling or inconvenient appointments?

How effectively and frequently are we communicating with our referring providers?

What are our competitors or other health care practices doing better in this regard?


Bill and Alan are leading this effort and the management team is diligently working on these issues.  But we also need every QDP team member to share their thoughts, experience and ideas. We all have more time right now and how well we answer these questions and consider the patient perspective will dictate how strongly we exit this crisis. What expectations, concerns, and desires do you have if you put yourself in the role of a patient?

PLEASE share with us any suggestions, ideas, personal or family experiences as a patient who was treated well or not so well. Let’s get excited to EVOLVE!

Two Mohs surgery colleagues developed the this JAMA Dermatology Patient Page for Mohs surgery, an excellent resource for all our staff and patients to fully understand how our  QDP physicians utilize this state-of-the-art skin cancer treatment.

COVID-19 testing has continued to increase nationwide and with seemingly better tests becoming available. This increased testing has resulted in lower positivity rates as expected, although the overall case and death counts continues to slowly rise nationally. The Quality Council is closely monitoring the testing situation, the medical literature and authoritative recommendations so that a QDP testing policy can be developed at the appropriate time.

As many states and cities begin Reopening phases and some economic activity resumes, polls show that the majority of Americans remain concerned about transmission risks and thankfully plan to continue their mitigation efforts. Please remain committed to social distancing, face coverings, avoidance of crowds and hand/cough/sneeze hygiene measures as we start engaging in more commerce and social interaction. Carefully monitor for any C-19 symptoms in you and your loved ones. If you are sick, please stay home.

By now, a friend may already have forwarded you a much-discussed blog post from a biologist named Erin Bromage — it has more than six million views. It’s an impressively clear explanation of how the virus often spreads inside confined spaces, like restaurants, churches, workplaces and schools. I guess we don’t have many friends, because it was new to us!

Be smart and stay healthy and safe!


John Albertini, MD

Alan Wenk, COO

Bill Southwick, CEO