Images shown are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a disease or condition.
Often mistaken clinically for a more common skin growth like an epidermoid cyst, pilomatricoma is the focus of this Digital Dermatopathology Digest episode with Rajni Mandal, MD.
Pilomatricoma is a benign skin growth that typically occurs in children and young adults. Studies show that around 40 percent of cases happen to patients under age 10, and 60 percent of cases appear before age 20. Interestingly, research also shows girls are about 50 percent more likely to develop a pilomatricoma than boys.
This growth is associated with the somatic mutation of CTNNB1 in the hair matrix cell, which leads to increased beta-catenin (decreased cell adhesion) and uncontrolled cell division through the Wnt signaling pathway.
Pilomatricomas have very distinguishing pathologic features. “The keratin within the center of pilomatricoma is quite characteristic,” explains Mandal. “You can see multiple holes, or ghosts, of the keratinocyte nuclei.”
Although pilomatricomas aren’t painful or malignant in nature, they don’t resolve on their own. Dermatologists may recommend a skin biopsy to rule out cancer—and because they continue to grow and often appear on the head and neck, most patients opt to have them removed.
To learn more about pilomatricoma and other skin conditions, click here for more episodes of PathologyWatch’s Digital Dermatopathology Digest.
Across America, healthcare industry professionals play pivotal and often pressure-filled roles in keeping individuals and communities safe. However, this commitment to service comes with a toll in the form of heavy turnover rates. One two-year study found that family practices experienced an average turnover rate of 53 percent. Now is the time to ensure you’re running a motivated and efficient dermatology clinic staff.
While tending to patients is every dermatologist’s most critical concern, maintaining a productive and satisfied staff isn’t too far behind. By increasing your team’s high-level patient contact, sharpening your staff-retention efforts, and making sure you hire qualified individuals, your practice can continue to administer the level of care your patients have come to expect.
High-Level Patient Contact
Expanding individual responsibilities can improve staff morale while helping to reduce your workload. Since medical assistants represent the biggest group of individuals providing clinical support to dermatologists, increasing their contact with patients can result in more time for you to address other priorities.
A well-trained MA may be capable of sharing diagnoses with patients on a case-by-case basis. To ensure seamless quality care, do the following:
- Provide staff members with a dermatology atlas to familiarize themselves with more common cases.
- Make sure every patient experience is consistent and professional by developing formal staff training programs.
- Promote knowledge and curiosity by teaching your team about frequent medications and treatments.
It would also help to train your staff to be conduits between your clinic and the dermatopathology lab. While full-service digital dermatopathology labs like PathologyWatch return diagnoses directly to your patients’ EMR, having a staff member that follows up on orders and results is a positive way to keep the lines of communication open.
Spending more time now to retain reliable dermatology staff members means spending less time in the future filling positions and training new employees. Since preventable employee factors are responsible for 80 percent of healthcare industry turnover, here are some suggestions to ensure your team members feel job satisfaction:
Create a comfortable office culture.
Is anyone happy working in a frantic environment that treats every task like an emergency? While there will be times when urgency is in order, do your best to set the example of composure and positivity by setting reasonable expectations for tasks and time management. This includes keeping a level head and being respectful in your actions and speech.
See team members as individuals.
You’re all in this together, so avoid focusing on individual mistakes. Likewise, nobody wants to be singled out or embarrassed in front of others. Be encouraging, promote camaraderie, listen to employee feedback, and find teachable moments to increase efficiency and skills.
Share accolades and rewards.
Small gestures can go a long way. In addition to praising accomplishments with kind words, keep your staff motivated with performance pay or other incentivized bonuses.
Provide employee discounts.
Offer discounts on procedures and products to turn your staff into brand ambassadors. As a result, you can build loyalty from your employees while increasing public awareness.
Creating an environment where people look forward to coming to work benefits your staff retention while leaving a good impression on your patients.
Hire Qualified People
Tending to patients while meeting the demands of running a thriving dermatology practice would be a daunting challenge without reliable staff support. Start on the right foot by hiring individuals with the characteristics and skill sets you require to deliver quality care to your patients.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry will add nearly 2.5 million jobs by 2029. With a labor pool that size to choose from, make sure you aren’t settling for employees that aren’t going to make long-term contributions to your clinic. Trust your instincts if you don’t feel someone is a good fit for the job’s values, pace, or expectations. If you’re on the fence, suggest a trial period to ensure both parties are satisfied with the duties and performance.
Here are some personality traits to keep in mind as you identify features that translate to a valuable dermatology staff member:
- Ambitious: Your workload can get lighter with the support of enthusiastic individuals who don’t mind shouldering additional responsibilities.
- Personable: Single out people who are comfortable communicating and showing compassion with patients of all ages.
- Teachable: Surround yourself with staff members who are eager to learn and share new knowledge and skills.
- Team Player: Dermatology clinics require staff members to wear many hats to keep the front office and exam rooms working efficiently.
Managing a motivated and efficient dermatology clinic staff requires consistent attention and leadership. By expanding your team’s patient contact level, focusing on staff-retaining actions, and hiring qualified team members, you can surround yourself with the right people to serve your patients.