In the initial mental construct of the practice I was most concerned that I would not have enough patients to remain open. The focus in the initial steps of the practice were staff, and location. We had to review EMR and Practice Management systems, computers, tablets, network and internet access. The other systems in the practice were phones, and the logistics of staff responsibilities and patient flow. There is also the business aspect of the practice including insurance for the business and malpractice, setting up a corporation, and local business licenses. The list of items that are core and required before a single patient can be seen is quite overwhelming.
Addressing patient concerns
This is further complicated by our natural and appropriate concern as physicians to do the absolute best job at finding and treating skin cancer, medical dermatologic conditions and so many other life-altering diseases we see as dermatologists. I felt that only after all of these items were appropriately addressed could I discuss the topics that many patients have at the top of their list…aging. Often patients presented for their medical or surgical skin concerns but once addressed, wanted to discuss what they could do for their aging appearance, specifically what they can use on their skin.
I was not equipped to fully address these concerns. I had spent my years in Dermatology training learning medical and surgical dermatology. I had great interest in the topics that patients wanted to discuss but I was not fully informed. I knew the basics but when it came down to a patient presenting a bottle from the department store asking if this was good for their skin and worth the money, I was not able to confidently and concisely answer their questions. When they would bring in ten bottles, I did not have enough time to read the ingredients and see if every bottle brought to me included significant and scientifically sound ingredients for their specific concerns. I did not feel I had enough time or knowledge to address their skin care concerns.
Finding a Solution
I was at a dermatological conference when I saw this new service Dr. Baumann had designed. Dr. Baumann’s Skin Type Solution organizes which product is best for each individual persons skin type. Understanding this limitation of myself and limitation of my time made it an easy decision to add this to my practice.
In my clinic patients are given an ipad at check-in and asked to complete the Skin IQ Questionnaire while they wait to be called back by the nursing staff. This Skin IQ Questionnaire takes 3-5 minutes and does an exceptional job of determining if someone tends toward dry or oily skin, if they are sensitive to irritants, if they have a propensity toward wrinkling and if they have concerning pigment on their face. These four main foci are all binary options. This makes 16 distinct skin types. Example, Oily, Sensitive, Pigmented and Wrinkle prone. Knowing the skin type allows me to discuss the main concerns and recommend the correct product in an efficient and effective manner.
In my office there are 16 distinct shelves. These shelves display the products with great confidence that are effective. The items on the shelves are selected with Dr. Baumann’s extensive knowledge base of the products on the market and the best price-conscious determination of what is effective.
My patients are searching for solutions and I was searching for a way to answer their questions. This complete solution allows me to interact and address concerns that patients have and actually give them a solution.
Patients are searching for a way to improve the way they look and age. We are the experts on aging, the skin, and products that are available today, to have a positive effect on patient lives. Dr. Baumann’s Skin Type Solutions bridged the gap I could not address.
I am thankful that STS and Dr. Baumann has helped me complete a package of service I had aspired to deliver long ago.
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