Annual American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Weekend Recap

Hosted in Boston, MA, this year’s Annual AAD convention—held March 25–29, 2022—promised more than a feeling: It marked a roaring return to in-person events for attendees worldwide. It felt good to be back among friends, colleagues, customers, and industry peers.  

This year’s event attracted over 13,000 guests to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, including 7,000 healthcare professionals. And the PathologyWatch team was there! 

Here are some of the highlights:

Friday, March 25 (Convention Day Arrives)

The show opened at 10 a.m., and we enjoyed a steady flow of traffic for most of the day, thanks to our premium location near the main Hall A entrance. Our booth’s design and messaging helped our representatives introduce dermatologists to digital pathology’s advantages.

PathologyWatch AAD Boston

It was refreshing to reconnect with colleagues and clients across the country. This included a visit from Dr. Roman Bronfenbrener, who stopped by to adore his larger-than-life testimonial banner. He picked it up after posing for photos and paraded it around other booths!  

Roman Bronfenbrener, MD

Roman Bronfenbrener, MD PathologyWatch

PathologyWatch hosted two events at this year’s AAD convention: First, we hosted a happy hour on the convention’s first night. Second, we cosponsored a private dinner with Castle Biosciences, which provided a unique opportunity to promote our technology, introduce our founders and clinical team, and connect with valued guests and customers before the convention ended.  

PathologyWatch

We selected City Tap, a nearby restaurant and bar, to arrange our happy hour event. The weather was perfect, and the private patio space worked really well. 

PathologyWatch happy hour

We set up a central station of food and beverages to encourage people to mingle freely. There was plenty of room for networking, with tables and chairs available for people who wanted to relax and talk after a long day on the convention floor.

PathologyWatch AAD 2022 happy hour

Soon, there were over 100 people engaged in dozens of conversations around the outdoor space. Our executive team and sales directors easily mixed in with the crowd, answering questions and bonding over hot wings and pizza. 

PathologyWatch happy hour AAD 2022PathologyWatch Happy Hour AAD 2022

Later in the evening, strings of outdoor lights brightened up the event and kept discussions going strong. The happy hour was a memorable and impactful part of the convention. We were able to get reacquainted with familiar faces and meet many new people.

PathologyWatch Happy Hour AAD 2022

PathologyWatch Happy Hour AAD 2022

Saturday, March 26

We developed the Digital Digest Quiz, a 12-question pathology test featuring digital slides on the PathologyWatch slide viewer to give people a reason to stop by the booth. Placing the video monitor at the front of the booth was visually appealing and created a simple segue to inspire conversations about our proprietary technology.

PathologyWatch AAD 2022

That evening, we gathered at Oceanaire Seafood Room for a cosponsored dinner with Castle Biosciences. We reserved a private room behind the bar that offered the perfect setting for an intimate meal with industry members.

Greg Osmond, MD, PathologyWatch cofounder and chief medical officer, shared a short presentation that examined how the slide viewer works with different cases. We timed the demonstration to begin after appetizers arrived, so attendees weren’t fighting hunger pains after a long day on the convention floor.

PathologyWatch Greg Osmond, MD

Even though it’s only April, it’s been an incredible year for PathologyWatch as we continue to expand our technology and services to support dermatological experts across the country. Thank you to all of our customers and partners who support us in our quest to innovate digital pathology and patient care.

PathologyWatch Welcomes Carlos Ricotti, MD, as a Key Addition to the Team

Dr. Ricotti brings seasoned expertise in complex dermatopathology cases to the firm.

SALT LAKE CITY—JANUARY 12, 2022—PathologyWatch, a full-service digital pathology lab, is pleased to welcome Carlos Ricotti, MD, to its clinical team.

Dr. Ricotti is a dermatologist and dermatopathologist whose expertise in complex cases—particularly basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, autoimmune conditions and inflammatory skin conditions—keeps his skills in demand. His compassionate and professional methods of care align with PathologyWatch’s goals to support the most comprehensive and best-quality patient care while reducing healthcare costs.

“Dr. Ricotti’s approach to dermatopathology extends beyond the specimen slide and stays focused on the overall condition and health of the patient,” says Greg Osmond, chief medical officer and PathologyWatch cofounder. “His diverse experience in identifying and treating often aggressive malignant skin conditions is a tremendous benefit to the Florida communities we serve.”

Ricotti, who is US board certified and a diplomate in dermatology and dermatopathology, views himself as a clinician. Among his standout skills is the ability to delve into unique cases by analyzing information from different areas of a patient’s profile, in addition to the test slide, to uncover answers. “I really like complex dermatology,” says Ricotti. ”And I knew that dermpath would help me better understand complex skin diseases.”

He is often consulted to review cases where essential indicators may have been overlooked. He also shares his uniquely methodical process with residents with whom he works regularly. “I just try to stay informed because I think that’s the right way to do things,” he said.

“His keen eye for examining atypical cases by exploring the complete patient profile rather than just the slide is a major contributing factor that he brings to the PathologyWatch team,” says Michael Torno, CRO and cofounder at PathologyWatch. “That approach to dermatopathology is the future of dermatological care and will enhance the patient experience for our clients.”

Dr. Ricotti completed a fellowship in dermatopathology at the University of Texas Southwestern and his residency in dermatology at the University of Miami. He is frequently consulted for his expertise and has contributed to several publications, including peer-reviewed scientific journals and book chapters for dermatology texts.

For more information, please email [email protected] or visit us at pathologywatch.com.

About PathologyWatch
PathologyWatch is the groundbreaking leader of digital dermatopathology services. Through these services, dermatology clinics, hospitals and laboratories can improve operational efficiency by speeding up workflow and enhancing patient outcomes by utilizing the PathologyWatch expert professional team and in-house lab services. With an intuitive and easy-to-implement digital pathology solution that includes access to top-tier dermatopathologists and a streamlined clinical workflow that interfaces directly into the EMR, PathologyWatch brilliantly combines state-of-the-art technology and clinical decision-making to deliver unprecedented patient care.

Dermatopathologist Eva Vertes George Joins PathologyWatch Team

Dr. George brings years of dermatopathology experience to the firm, with a special focus on melanoma.

“We are impressed with the enthusiasm and depth of expertise that Dr. George brings to the people of Florida and all over the United States,” says Dan Lambert, cofounder and chief executive officer of PathologyWatch.

Dr. George completed her residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at the University of Florida. Her fellowship was in dermatopathology at the University of Florida, and she is US-board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology and dermatopathology.

Although she enjoys all aspects of clinical pathology, her focus is melanoma. “I love it all, but I would say the part that grabs me is melanoma. There’s still so much that we don’t know about them. As we continue understanding the different variants, it’s about making sure we get the correct diagnosis so that patients receive the best care possible.”

As a strong supporter of digital pathology, Dr. George was drawn to PathologyWatch in part because of its commitment to opening up access to qualified patient care to the international community. “The idea that a biopsy can be done anywhere in the world, digitized, and then read by a pathologist from a different place in the world is very exciting. The possibilities are endless with that kind of instant accessibility,” said Dr. George.

“One of the most valuable parts of digital pathology is that it is going to enhance the accuracy of the diagnosis in a timely manner. It enables the transfer of information more readily and then extends that service to rural areas,” said Dr. George. “I truly believe digital pathology is the future.”

For more information, please email [email protected] or visit us at pathologywatch.com.

About PathologyWatch
PathologyWatch is the groundbreaking leader of digital dermatopathology services. Through these services, dermatology clinics, hospitals and laboratories can improve operational efficiency by speeding up workflow and enhancing patient outcomes by utilizing the PathologyWatch expert professional team and laboratory services. This can facilitate best-in-class reads and, in some cases, enable additional revenue to the practice by in-housing pathology. With an intuitive and easy-to-implement digital pathology solution that includes access to top-tier dermatopathologists and a streamlined clinical workflow that interfaces directly into the EMR, PathologyWatch brilliantly combines state-of-the-art technology and clinical decision-making to deliver unprecedented patient care.

How to Explain Dermatopathology to Your Patients

According to IBISWorld, there are an estimated 5,391 dermatology businesses in the United States, serving millions of individuals who understand the importance of taking care of their skin. But when it comes to the science behind diagnosing and treating skin conditions, some patients may feel lost, confused, or scared.

Explaining what dermatopathologists do can entail a lot of information for a patient, so let’s examine some simple ways to discuss what dermatopathology is, including education, training, and specialties, as well as the advancement of digital dermatopathology and how it is changing the industry.

What Is Dermatopathology?

Dermatopathology is a specialty in the field of dermatology. The term itself is a combination of dermatology and pathology, meaning the study of both the skin and diseases thereof. Pathologists work in every field of medicine, providing insight on diseases and patient care—in the field of dermatology, this is the responsibility of the dermatopathologist—or “dermpath,” as they are sometimes known in the industry.

All dermatopathologists hold a medical degree in dermatology or pathology, with a subspeciality in dermatopathology. In order to become board certified, doctors must take an exam in both their specialty and subspecialty, as well as participate in developmental exercises in order to retain that certification.

Dermatopathology Services

Rather than interacting directly with patients, dermatopathologists analyze tissue samples that are sent over by doctor’s offices to provide additional information. A nine-year study by the National Library of Medicine found an increasing trend in the complexity of dermatopathology cases after reviewing 8,173 cases at a tertiary care academic center. 

Dermpaths are able to examine not only skin samples but also hair and nail tissue samples, after which they generate a report based on their findings. This is typically done when a dermatologist or primary care physician wants to confirm an initial diagnosis made during a physical examination of the potentially affected area, and requests to have a sample tested by a dermatopathologist for more information.

In studying these samples, dermatopathologists are able to better identify a wide variety of skin conditions, including skin cancer, eczema, and psoriasis. Examining samples under a microscope allows dermatopathologists to see them on a cellular level, providing a closer perspective of a patient’s potential diagnosis.

Traditionally, dermatopathology was done using microscopes, but technological advances have led to the increasing use of digital dermatopathology, in which samples are processed and digitized, providing doctors with more readily available access to a patient’s slides. This process minimizes the time it takes to send a sample, receive the results, and make a diagnosis based on those results, which can be life-saving in more severe cases.

Uses and Benefits of Digital Dermatopathology

Digital dermatopathology helps medical professionals to continue providing patients with the level of care they require while offering clear advantages for your dermatology clinic. These include access to quality clinical care for rural markets, shorter diagnostic times than traditional microscopy, and equivalence to glass slides in terms of quality, with a major discordance rate of only 0.4 percent between whole-slide imaging and microscopy.

Digital dermatopathology can also reduce the time it takes between receiving a slide and generating a report. In some cases, hospitals staff saw an average turnaround time reduced from two weeks to two days. Elsewhere, the streamlined digital process saves the staff an hour a day on manual tasks.

Now that you have some ideas of how to explain what dermatopathology is to your patients, contact the experts at PathologyWatch to help with all your digital dermatopathology needs.

Is Your Dermlab a Good Fit? 5 Questions to Ask a Dermatopathology Lab

5 questions to ask your pathology lab
are staff board certified
focused on the client
whole-slide image experience
promote community specialty
prioritize confidentiality
contact pathologywatch today
Are you searching for a new dermatopathology lab? With the onset of digital pathology, finding a lab that is not only equipped with this innovation but also qualified to process whole-slide images swiftly yet accurately may take some time. 

An NIH study found that three out of four respondents agreed that accurate diagnoses can be made with this technology, and over half (59 percent) agreed that the benefits of whole-slide imaging outweigh any concerns. If you plan to expand your practice to incorporate whole-slide imaging into your process, finding the right dermlab is an important first step. 

To ensure the ideal match, here are five questions to ask dermatopathology labs. 

1. Are they focused on the client? 

With more healthcare systems moving to a value-based care model, patient-centered care is essential to ensure the seamless delivery of quick results and effective treatment plans while providing as much information as possible about your patient’s condition. It’s difficult to reassure your patient that their treatment is a priority when the turnaround time for lab results takes several weeks. 

2. Are the lab techs board certified? 

Check to be sure that the lab technicians and specialists are educated and qualified to do their job. Although jobs as a general lab technician don’t require extensive college training, hands-on experience working in digital pathology is more specialized. 

As more labs implement digital technology into their lab processes, it’s important to clarify their expertise in operating the specialized equipment since it varies a great deal from handling glass slides and manually preparing lab test results.

3. Do they have experience using whole-slide imaging?

Digital technology and whole-slide imaging is expanding throughout the dermatopathology industry, with many implementing digital innovations into their processes. As mentioned earlier, make sure the lab you rely on for fast and accurate results knows how to operate this new technology. 

Research conducted by Joann G. Elmore, MD, MPH, and her team concludes that navigating digital whole-slide imaging is different from traditional microscopy. In whole-slide imaging, the pathologist is not confined to a physical microscope that requires a glass slide viewed through a lens to view the tissue sample. 

“Rather, the digitized images of the histology tissue sections are viewed on a computer screen using a pointing device such as a mouse, trackpad, or dedicated console to manipulate location and magnification of the image (pan and zoom),” says the research team. “The technology may be easily adapted to virtual reality glasses. Given these important differences between digital WSI and traditional microscopy, adoption and effective use of WSI in clinical practice requires exposure to and training using this new format.”

4. What tests do they perform?

Based on the region, some labs have more experience performing certain tests that are more pronounced in your customer base than others. For example, a dermlab in California will likely see more tests for melanoma because it has the most cases of skin cancer (11,450 new cases this year) in the nation. By comparison, Alaska has 110 melanoma cases. 

If your practice specializes in treatments more common in the area, you want to partner with a lab that is proficient in those tests.

5. Is patient confidentiality a priority?

The wave of digital technology within the dermatopathology field has provided unprecedented access to patient information. With that abundance of data comes a higher risk of HIPAA violations. Be sure to ask how the lab processes and organizes testing samples and inquire about their procedures for sharing results. 

“Using an electronic health record or EHR system offers you much better control over information security,” says Stephen O’Connor. “What’s more, the electronic version of the patient’s chart is now more convenient to share with other concerned parties.” 

To expand your practice, you need a dermlab that offers immediate and secure access to digital slides, fully interpreted pathology reports uploaded directly into your patient’s EMR, and personalized service through your own dedicated dermpath team with the flexibility to collaborate with your existing dermatopathology provider. 

To learn more about what PathologyWatch digital dermatopathology lab services can do to help expand your practice, click here

4 Time-saving Tips For Efficient EMR Integration

As more healthcare systems continue to push toward cost-saving processes that improve efficiency without sacrificing customer satisfaction, dermatologists are turning to EMR integration as a strategic and secure way to streamline office processes. It also positions their practice for collaborative opportunities that cater to a value-based model. 

So, why do some dermatologists struggle with it?

A recent study shows that 86 percent of dermatologists surveyed use EMR. While a portion of participants claim EMR improved their documentation process, many believe that EMR has a negative impact on their workflow efficiency and interferes with face-to-face appointments with patients, with many complaints targeting the amount of time spent updating patient records, for example. 

“While some practices can manage to get by using old-fashioned paper, the drawbacks can no longer be ignored,” says Stephen O’Connor. “Paper records are simply too insecure and it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify using this outdated method of maintaining patient files.”

Despite the clear advantages of implementing a digitized system, such as better security, accessibility, collaborative capabilities, and data collection, is it the EMR-user technology that prevents an efficient delivery of patient care or is it the office workflow? 

If you have recently implemented an EMR system into your practice, your work process will likely need an update to better accommodate the new digital formats. Once you learn of new ways to work with your EMR system, you’ll discover the advantages this technology contributes to your dermatology practice. 

Here are four time-saving tips that are worth trying for optimizing your EMR system. 

Get EMR training

Although doctors may understand the general premise of electronic patient records, it’s only through training that you discover the true capabilities and time-saving features of EMR technology. 

Your vendor should be available to provide role-based training so your office and support staff can transition seamlessly to EMR use. For example, training may include adjusting the way you add notes to a patient’s file. Since the EMR interface pulls data from other sources, your notes may not require adding additional links to your documentation. 

Promote Patient Portals For Routine Services

The goal of digital technology isn’t to replace face-to-face visits. But by offering an online platform that enables patients to access their test results, for example, or to schedule a follow up appointment online can save doctors and the medical support staff valuable time by reducing phone calls. You can even set up automated messages for patients to schedule their checkups. 

By eliminating tasks often associated with routine phone calls, you can focus on the more complicated medical cases that require customized treatment. 

Go Virtual

With seamless data exchange within your EMR interface, your practice can offer expanded virtual health services that reduce the amount of appointments ending in no-shows, opens up possibilities for collaboration with expert dermatopathologists on patient cases, and streamlines the turnaround time for test results when you partner with a dermlab using digital pathology. 

Related link: Teledermatology in the COVID Era

Partner with a Dermlab Using Digital Technology

When you partner with a dermlab that uses a digital workflow, the results can be directly linked to your EMR for quicker review and faster follow-up with your patients. No shipping. No waiting. No lost results. 

Digital dermatopathology “has introduced measurable advantages that modern practices can use to improve workflow, decrease turnaround time, reduce errors, experience the instant access of an EMR interface, and take advantage of academic-level dermatopathologist reads,” says Greg Osmond, a board-certified pathologist, dermatopathologist, and chief medical officer and cofounder of PathologyWatch. “Put simply, digital dermatopathology cuts down on physician time and error, resulting in a simpler, more streamlined workflow and a high level of patient care and satisfaction.”

Partnering with an experienced lab improves patient access to specialized care and customer satisfaction. ultimately help physicians take better care of their patients.

Related link: Enhancing the Relationship Between Your Practice and The Laboratory

Ready or not, the future of dermatology is digital, with experts estimating EHR/EMR adoption rates are higher than ever. By taking the time to learn more about EMR capabilities and adapting your workflow processes to work in harmony with this technology, your practice will be geared for tomorrow’s technology–today. 

We can help!  For more information on EMR integration and whole slide imaging, click here.