As the U.S. population ages, the number of Americans who suffer from skin diseases will…
By Dr. Casey and Dr. San Filippo
After carefully monitoring the developments with COVID-19 and passing the CDC criteria for Phase 1 reopening, Center for Surgical Dermatology is now open to all patients. While we’re thrilled to begin seeing our patients in-person again, we are operating with an abundance of caution. We will continue to follow guidelines from the local, state, and federal government, as well as medical board guidance.
Center for Surgical Dermatology always keeps patient health and safety as our top priority. This month, we’re sharing the procedures that we have adopted to keep our patients and providers safe and healthy.
Protective measures our practice has put in place
To prevent the spread of germs, our practice has put the following procedures into place:
- Performing daily temperature checks for all staff members and patients.
- Asking screening questions for all patients, staff, and visitors who enter the building.
- Rescheduling patients who exhibit symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Limiting provider schedules.
- Reducing waiting room capacity and letting patients wait in their vehicles to minimize person-to-person contact. When your room is ready, you’ll get a call on your cell phone that it’s time to come back.
- All staff and providers are wearing protective equipment, like masks, to minimize the transmission of any respiratory droplets, which are the primary vector for spreading the virus.
- Thoroughly sanitizing waiting areas and high-touch surfaces multiple times each day.
- Cleaning exam rooms after every patient according to CDC guidelines.
- Limiting visitors to those escorts required for special assistance or circumstances.
For patient procedures, including Mohs surgeries, our office is assigning a single staff member to each patient whenever possible to reduce the risk of exposure. We are a teaching institution, so we are also limiting Resident involvement in patient care to further reduce the transmission risk.
We have been and will continue to treat skin cancers that are growing rapidly or threatening vital structures like the eye, lip, or any neurovascular structure. Cancers that we feel are highly aggressive or metastatic (have the potential to spread) or patients who are immunocompromised and are more susceptible to aggressive cancers will receive treatment without delay.
Our practice has resumed treatment of cancers like basal and squamous cell carcinomas that are significant and need treatment but had been delayed temporarily.
We also continue to offer telehealth appointments for some patients. One important function of a telemedicine visit is to screen your condition and make a determination of whether you need an in-person appointment. Beginning with a video appointment limits your exposure during the pandemic and keeps your risk of infection down. The welfare of our patients is our first priority, so we’ll continue to be thoughtful in how and when we schedule in-person diagnosis and treatment.
What is a telehealth appointment?
Telemedicine means using electronic methods to meet the health needs of a patient. Often, it involves an appointment between a patient and a physician by video rather than in-person. It allows patients to visit with their physicians remotely, which is beneficial during times of infectious illnesses.
Scheduling a telemedicine appointment at Center for Surgical Dermatology is just as easy as scheduling an in-person appointment. Call (614) 847-4100 to speak with a scheduler and choose a date and time that works for you.
How should patients prepare for a telemedicine appointment?
In many ways, preparing for this kind of visit is the same as getting ready for any other doctor’s appointment you’ve had. You should have a list of your current medications handy, any recent medical procedures, and a list of your symptoms.
Since dermatology relies upon a physician being able to see your skin to make a diagnosis, there are several things that you can do to make the appointment more seamless:
- Make sure that your cellphone or computer has a strong Wi-Fi signal and stay close to your router.
- Ensure that you’re in a spot with bright natural light in front of you rather than behind you.
Starting the appointment is as simple as clicking the link that we send to your phone or email, which will open in a new window on your phone or computer. Permissions to access the camera and microphone will likely appear on your phone. You must click to allow both of these for the visit to work. You should have your insurance card and driver’s license ready for the physician to screenshot during the appointment.
During the telemedicine appointment, you will speak with the provider in real-time as if they were across from you in person.
Questions about your appointment options?
If you have questions about our procedure for addressing your skin concern, please give us a call, and we will give you the most up to date information about how our practice can safely support your skin needs.
As the largest medical and surgical skin treatment and wellness facility in Central Ohio, the board-certified dermatologists at the Center of Surgical Dermatology specialize in skin cancer treatment, cosmetic procedures, and general dermatology solutions. Contact us to learn more or schedule a skin care consultation.