LOCK HAVEN - Geisinger-Lock Haven recently began offering telemedicine services for dermatology patients.
The service, known as telederm, offers patients the expertise of a dermatologist without traveling to see one out of town.
This technology involves the use of telecommunications to facilitate the exchange of clinical information between a healthcare provider at a clinic location to a specialist at Geisinger Medical Center (GMC).
"Because dermatologists are in short supply and are not usually practicing in rural communities, the use of telemedicine is on the rise" said Victor J. Marks, M.D., dermatologist for Geisinger Health System. "Quality healthcare services like telederm provide communities such as Lock Haven with the convenience of shorter waits for appointments and access to important treatments without having to travel far from home."
At a telederm appointment, patients are first evaluated and treated by a certified physician assistant, who takes pictures of the skin condition and immediately transmits the images to Dr. Marks at GMC.
"The charts and images are reviewed by Dr. Marks within 24 hours of the appointment," said Lauren Zajac, PA-C, Geisinger-Lock Haven. "Follow-up appointments are scheduled as needed and any additions or changes to the treatment regimen made by Dr. Marks are done prior to or at the next appointment."
Zajac added that she can perform biopsies on suspicious moles and send the sample to pathology for evaluation. If the patient needs to be seen by a dermatologist or skin cancer (Mohs) surgeon, an appointment is made shortly after the patient is seen.