Resilience could help dermatology researchers overcome these challenges.
The healthcare industry is facing rapid changes, and specialists should be ready to counter the challenges that arise from these changes and respond proactively. Dermatology is just as important as any other medical field. Dermatologists help reduce the risk of skin cancer and other skin conditions and prevent morbidity and death. You need to know that dermatology is more than just skin deep.
Dermatology is a medical branch that deals with issues related to the skin. It studies the diseases of the skin, the largest body organ, but it’s sometimes underrated and misunderstood. Some skin diseases are fatal. Many internal diseases and infections have skin symptoms like fingernail pigmentation, rashes, dry-scaly skin, red spots, and others.
Skin abnormalities are common in the human body, and the study and research of these abnormalities have been going on for centuries. However, dermatology research faces unprecedented challenges that are a threat to patients. Here are the top six challenges facing dermatology research in 2022:
- Limited Provider Network
A provider network comprises hospitals, pharmacies, doctors, and other medical care providers who form contracts to be in-network providers. It means you pay less when you go to a provider with whom you share the same insurance company network. When visiting a dermatologist, consider one in your plan’s network.
Limited provider networks have become a challenge in dermatology research, with most payers unrolling many dermatologists. Research shows that a good number of patients become out-of-network daily. It slows down dermatology research as they lack enough funds to cater to their research resources.
- Unfair Reimbursement Abounds and Tiered Payments
Challenges of tiered payments and unfair reimbursement are becoming regular with each passing day. Recently, there’s a high level of patient co-pays that may result in difficulties in your rebates. It limits your ability to continue consulting with your physician on several matters related to your skin.
Consequently, it affects research because dermatologists lack adequate interactions and connections with their patients. As the number of patients reduces, the competency and motive of research die off. It becomes difficult for scientists to focus their resources on further research in the field of dermatology.
- Changes in Technologies
There’s much to cover on the human skin, and dermatologists juggle busy schedules. They may have no time to learn about the new technology. It’s proving challenging in this field because not comprehending this medical equipment may lead to errors. The cost of these new devices is high, and the dermatology department may not be capable of acquiring such equipment.
It’s also a challenge for most dermatologists to shift from relational to non-relational databases by use of traditional Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to keep records and data of all patients. The only research institutes in a position to support such technologies are the prominent and financially capable ones.
- New Healthcare Reform
National healthcare prioritizes serious health issues such as diabetes, cancer, depression, hypertension, and others. It becomes difficult for dermatology to fit into this picture, even though they play a role in reducing such diseases that may lead to death.
Dermatologists have limited ability and resources to counter such challenges. However, in the past few years, dermatologists have formed an effective and agile group of experts in all medical-related fields to help boost the effectiveness of dermatology research.
- Engaging and Maintaining New Recruits
Not many medical students are thrilled with the dermatology field. Engaging and maintaining young residents and physicians is a challenge. Dermatology research institutes try returning to their normal staffing levels by engaging new passive talents. Still, regaining the normal staff levels is challenging, with most leaving for other professions.
It’s just as crucial to retain academic dermatologists as it is to recruit new ones. Poor retention contributes to the decline in dermatology research and rate of growth. Hence, efforts should be directed towards retention rather than recruitment. One can achieve this by identifying and establishing funding sources for mentoring and research.
- Ill Public Perception of Dermatology
Most people are misinformed about the functions and medical contributions of dermatologists. For some, dermatologists spend their time managing and fighting skin cancer, while others consider them cosmetic procedure professionals. It shows that people aren’t knowledgeable in dermatology, and the concerned authorities should take measures to give them a better perception.
Rapid medical industry changes have occurred over the past few years. These new changes brought new challenges for medical professionals and researchers to deal with. It has proved to be challenging for dermatology research institutions as they try to rise above the limited provider network, EHRs, new healthcare reforms, and other discussed challenges. However, resilience could help dermatology researchers overcome these challenges.