Business As Unusual: Integrated Dermatology
The CEO of Integrated Dermatology discusses the impact of coronavirus on the Boca-based business in the latest installment of this ongoing series from LMG
Lifestyle continues to reach out to businesspeople all over South Florida to ask questions about the impact COVID-19 has had on their businesses—and what the future holds. Today, we check in Jeffrey Queen, co-founder and CEO of Boca Raton-based Integrated Dermatology.
Business backstory: Integrated Dermatology is the largest independent dermatology group in the U.S., with practices in 25 states (among them, practices in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties). Queen has spearheaded the company’s COVID-era protocols, providing physician partners with operational assistance, securing PPP loans for the practices, launching a virtual “Telehealth” platform so dermatologists could meet safely with patients, and developing reopening plans based on CDC and American Academy of Dermatology guidelines.
The impact: “When the pandemic originally hit, our entire leadership team met and came up with a plan for the crisis that was immediately communicated to the rest of the company. First and foremost was to protect all our partners, providers and patients. Next, we focused on the financial health of each practice; the majority of our practices remained open for emergency procedures. We took every step necessary to relieve our doctors from directly dealing with government programs and created detailed financial projections to help steer their practices through the pandemic and thrive on the other side. Today, we are finding our practices in suburban areas are at full capacity, while in the metropolitan areas we are still less than pre-pandemic volume but moving back to full volume as conditions improve. We remain focused on making our practices a safe place for patients and staff.”
Moving forward: “Since medical dermatology is a health necessity, I don’t believe the pandemic will have a significant long-term impact. Once a vaccine with efficacy is distributed, I believe dermatology will quickly return to pre-pandemic normal. However, we see the positive impacts that have resulted from proactive planning and offering more virtual appointments. Our partner physicians are now able to do more online scheduling and registration—and can now offer video visits through our Tel-eDerm app. We also have added the ability for patients to check in from their cars (to avoid time in our waiting rooms). Our technology company eDerm has been working overtime to add and enhance the features of our system to meet the changes required by the pandemic. We will continue to prioritize fresh ideas and creativity as we move forward.”
COVID insights: “I used to extoll the philosophy that the quarterback can’t practice by himself. I’d discourage the concept of working from home, citing my belief that a winning team needs face-to-face collaboration. However, since the onset of COVID in March, I’ve seen firsthand how productive our team can be working remotely, and I will be a lot more open to the practice even when we return to the office full-time. This also allows us to expand our talent pool, enabling us to select the best person overall, rather than the best person in a certain location.”