Darren Whittemore, DO, Featured in Orlando Medical News 

How does one slated to become an astronaut end up becoming a leading dermatopathologist? 

In a recent interview with Orlando Medical News, Darren Whittemore, DO, explains his roundabout journey to becoming a dermatopathologist and, ultimately, joining PathologyWatch. 

“The innovation emerging from this field has a global impact,” says Darren. “Technology has the power to bring together experts and students, breaking down barriers and extending our reach to smaller clinics in rural areas.”

Here are some highlights from that interview: 

OMN: Why did you choose a career in medicine?

Darren: While part of the aerospace engineering program as an undergraduate, I came to appreciate the completion of a project, which doesn’t always happen in the real engineering market. I was drawn to watching a project come full-circle. That’s what helped me decide to move toward a career in medicine. Those plans were confirmed when I got an Air Force scholarship for pathology at one of the biggest AF academic centers at the time.

OMN: What are you continuing to strive for in the world of dermatopathology?

Darren: I am fortunate to be surrounded by individuals who are committed to helping dermatology clinics deliver industry-leading care to their patients. That’s why I chose a career in dermatopathology: to make a difference.

To read the full interview with Darren Whittemore by Orlando Medical News, click here

 

PathologyWatch Boasts Key Addition to Its Roster of Dermatopathologists with Allison Readinger, MD

A leader in dermatology and dermatopathology, Allison Readinger, MD, joins PathologyWatch’s clinical team to assist in the growing landscape of digital healthcare.

Salt Lake City—March 7, 2021—PathologyWatch, a full-service digital pathology service, is pleased to welcome Allison Readinger, MD, to its clinical team. A highly qualified and respected dermatologist and dermatopathologist, Readinger brings a wealth of industry knowledge and innovation, coinciding with PathologyWatch’s mission to preserve and extend life for patients while reducing healthcare costs.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Readinger join us as a member of our clinical team. Her industry expertise and seasoned leadership skills make her a genuine asset,” said Dan Lambert, cofounder and chief executive officer of PathologyWatch. “Together, we are eager to expand our reach across the Texas market, positively impacting the lives of our healthcare providers and their patients.”

An alumnus of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Readinger is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist with over 15 years of experience. In October 2010, she opened Trinity Vista Dermatology to offer more dermatology services to the rapidly growing population of Fort Worth, Texas.

Readinger recently served as President of the Texas Dermatological Society and continues to advocate for patients, for physician and resident education, and for her specialty.

At her core, Readinger enjoys bonding with her patients, providing excellent care, and being at the forefront of advances in medical technology. With an understanding of the importance of attention to detail and personalized care in modern medicine, she makes an excellent addition to the PathologyWatch family.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the continued growth of digital dermatopathology,” said Readinger. “The landscape of digital dermatopathology is growing at a rapid pace, and I am eager to assist in the continued growth and progress of our field.”  She adds, “I hope to utilize digital dermatopathology to expand further my ability to offer great clinicopathologic correlation to my clients.”

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 partner 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.

3 Ways Locum Tenens Can Help Expand Your Pathology Lab

If you are exploring new ways to expand your pathology lab with additional services or you see a need to bolster your team to keep up with growing demands, hiring full-time pathologists may feel a little too risky. Rather than putting off your plans, have you considered locum tenens with on-demand dermatopathologists? 

A recent survey found that 69 percent of healthcare facility managers said they use at least one locum tenens provider in a typical month, while 19 percent said they use seven or more. They recognize the benefits that locum tenens provides, including consistent revenue, flexibility in patient care, and expanding access to patient care. Let’s discuss how each point may benefit you.

1. Protects Revenue Flow

How can you keep your lab running when your primary revenue generators need time off? Schedule a locum tenens dermatopathologist to cover for them. That means you can bill for services even when your primary providers are not available. 

If we don’t have a physician working, that means we don’t have a nurse working, and it goes all the way down through the organization. So the locum physicians are an integral part of how we provide care,” says Kelly Cameron, a director of provider recruitment and retention. Similarly, if a lab is short-handed on dermatopathologists, profits may be lost as clinics will be forced to send their work elsewhere to ensure appropriate turnaround times. 

At PathologyWatch, our locum tenens dermatopathologists work remotely to easily transition between labs by using digital pathology tools that streamline tasks and create a more efficient and cost-saving process for you. That means you save on expenses for travel, housing, and per diems. Plus, our EMR interface provides quick access to results, patient information, health services partners, etc. Should you opt for virtual locum services, we offer secure, 24/7 access to your pathology slides.

2. Provides Flexibility in Patient Care 

An important step in patient care innovation is to provide specialized services your patients want and need. But it can be risky to explore new care models by hiring permanent staff. Our staff of board-certified, academic-level dermatopathologists provides expertise in the areas you may be considering in your clinic. 

Do you want to specialize in rare skin diseases that are prevalent in your area? Test that service with a locum tenens dermatopathologist. If it’s successful, a locum tenens doctor can remain in place until a permanent position is filled. 

3. Expands Access to Patient Care

We’ve encountered at least two ways that locum tenens dermatopathologists can help your practice reach more patients. These include treating patients in rural or seasonally-impacted areas and using teledermatology for those who have difficulty visiting a doctor in person. 

Many healthcare networks have opened up clinics in rural areas where fluctuations in seasonal work or outdoor recreation impact the volume and type of care patients need most. For instance, a clinic located by heavy agricultural operations or popular recreation areas where people spend more time outdoors during the busy warmer months of the year will experience an influx of patients but may not need a full staff all year long. Locum tenens doctors are prepared to go where patient care is needed most. When the busy season ends, it’s easy to reduce the staff size. 

As one of the most rapidly expanding branches of telemedicine, teledermatology is another way to utilize dermatopathology expertise and provide care for patients in remote locations. “Dermatology is particularly suitable for telemedical diagnosis and consultation due to its image‐based orientation in diagnostics,” says Peter Elsner, MD, PhD. Since the COVID-19 onset, experts estimate at least half of all dermatologists practicing in the US use telehealth technology. 

If you are one of the 85 percent of healthcare facility managers who used locum tenens services within the past 12 months, you’ve likely benefited from the forward-thinking strategies many locum tenens used to bolster your practice.

With PathologyWatch locum tenens dermatopathologists, your lab can maintain revenue while balancing the needs of your valued staff, use expertise to explore new care models, and utilize innovative digital technologies to create more efficient patient care processes. Although locum tenens services may be temporary, the proven solutions, expertise, and technology will remain.

Identifying Trichoepithelioma

Images shown are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a disease or condition.

At first glance, these individual lesions may look like basal cell carcinoma, but don’t be confused: Trichoepithelioma appears as firm, rounded, and shiny tumors that originate in the hair follicle. 

In this episode of Digital Dermpath Digest, Rajni Mandal, MD, a dermatopathologist at PathologyWatch, discusses distinct features of trichoepithelioma and how to identify them.

What Is Trichoepithelioma?

The distinct rounded and shiny appearance of this rare benign skin lesion occurs primarily on the cheeks, on the eyelids, and around the nose, yet it can spread to arms and stomach. They typically increase in number as the patient ages and presents as papillary-mesenchymal bodies, granulomas, and signs of calcification. 

“There are three clinical types of trichoepithelioma,” says Mandal, “Solitary, multiple, and desmoplastic.”

  • Solitary trichoepithelioma: This variant is characterized by a single firm dermal papule or nodule that often appears on the face.
  • Multiple trichoepitheliomas: Often called Brooke-Spiegler Syndrome, it’s composed of familial cylindromatosis and multiple familial trichoepitheliomas variants. 
  • Desmoplastic trichoepithelioma: Characterized by a prominent, sclerotic stroma, the most common features of this variant include asymptomatic, solitary, ring-shaped, centrally depressed papules. When viewed as a digital slide, this variant has tadpole-shaped islands, fibrous stroma, and calcifications. They can appear anywhere but are more commonly found on the upper cheek. 

What Are the Most Common Treatments?

Dermatologists can surgically remove individual lesions, particularly if there are risks of malignancy. Other treatment options include carbon dioxide laser and dermabrasion, which may improve the skin’s appearance, but there is a slight possibility of regrowth. 

To learn more about this skin condition and other common diseases, join us for each episode of Digital Dermpath Digest right here on pathologywatch.com.

Using EMR Technology to Reduce Clinical Errors

A healthy practice relies on establishing meaningful relationships with your patients. You want them to feel special and valued. So it can be a little disconcerting when you’ve pulled the file for a pregnant patient you anticipate is getting checked for melasma only to meet a 16-year-old new patient, who arrived to discuss his acne. 

Sometimes file mix-ups have more serious consequences than mistaken identities. Studies show that from the initial biopsy to the acquisition of the pathology report, a specimen may pass through the hands of more than twenty people and several workplaces. 

To prevent specimen mix-ups and other errors with patient information, NIH recommends, first, standardization in work processes, and second, automating tasks wherever possible. To do this, consider digitizing your clinic and laboratory processes. 

Here are three ways transitioning to electronic medical records (EMR) have helped numerous dermatology practices minimize errors and create a streamlined and error-free clinic workflow. 

Patient Data Is Easy to Share

EMR technology was designed to house patient information in a location that is easy to organize and share with other healthcare providers, insurance, pharmacies, labs, other clinics, billing, etc. 

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says, “Documenting a patient’s record with all relevant and important facts, and having that information readily available, allows providers to furnish correct and appropriate services that can improve quality, safety, and efficiency.” 

At PathologyWatch, our clients appreciate easy access to digital images as well as pathology reports, patient’s HIPAA-compliant, digital medical history, etc., which are accessible on the patient’s EMR. 

EMR Provides a Complete Patient Record 

Did you know around one out of every 20 people who saw a doctor last year reported having to redo a test or procedure because their prior data was unavailable?

Maintaining a patient’s identity and complete medical history throughout the biopsy pathway is critical for the practice of dermatology and dermatopathology. Your patients need to trust that you can provide the best care based on a comprehensive understanding of their patient history. So while a recent study discovered 32 percent of people who visited a doctor within the past 12 months experienced a gap in information exchange, your patients shouldn’t have to worry about the quality of their care if you’ve transitioned their patient information to EMR. You can confidently address your patient’s case and concerns based on a complete and current patient record. 

Add Value To Other Parts of Workflow

Surveys show that 60 percent of clinics already have implemented EMRs in their practice, but most have not yet experienced the full capabilities that an interface provides. “The exchange of information through this interface can simplify your daily workflow considerably,” explains April Larson, a practicing dermatologist and director of clinical implementation and advisory board at PathologyWatch. “By way of an HL7 interface, the lab can send reports electronically directly to your patient chart and, in certain instances, populate the diagnosis and treatment, streamlining your review and signoff.”

The adoption of EMR technology minimizes menial, time-consuming tasks for your clinical staff and allows them to participate more in patient care, which increases both staff and patient satisfaction.

Your patients depend on you to provide the best care possible. When you use an EMR system to organize patient information that’s easy to access, update, and share with health services partners, you can focus on what really matters: your patient. 

Learn more about the pros and cons of an EMR interface here.

Identifying a Proliferating Pilar Cyst 

Images shown are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a disease or condition.

Consider this: An elderly female patient presents with a nodule on her scalp, which has recently grown in size. It currently measures 10 cm in diameter and is ulcerated. What features would you look for in order to diagnose it as a proliferating pilar cyst?

In this episode of Digital Dermatopathology Digest, Rajni Mandal, MD, dermatopathologist at PathologyWatch, explains the characteristics of proliferating pilar cysts. 

“Proliferating pilar cysts are most commonly seen in adult women in the scalp,” Mandal says. “Most cases arise from a pre-existing pilar cyst, due to unknown triggers.”

In the video, Mandal goes on to identify the defining features of two categories of proliferating pilar cysts: 

Benign Proliferating Pilar Cyst

Cyst epithelium proliferates within the center of the cyst, giving it a “rolls and scrolls” appearance. The proliferating cells are trichilemmal, with small nuclei having smooth nuclear contours and a uniform chromatin pattern. The cyst lining has no granular layer, with abrupt dense, compact, pink keratin formation.

Malignant Proliferating Pilar Cyst

Also known as trichilemmal carcinoma, malignant proliferating pilar cysts differ from the benign version in key ways. In addition to the above characteristics, malignant cysts show cell crowding and cellular atypia (i.e., nuclei of varying size and shape). These cysts display mitotic activity, infiltrative growth, and cytologic atypia.

Whether you’re in residency, studying for board exams, or a practicing dermatologist looking to stay sharp, the Digital Dermatopathology Digest video series is your informational and convenient source for dermatopathology review. Find the full series here.