Top 2 Trends Dermatology Practices are Focused on in 2024

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Chloe From Clearwave | March 4, 2024

To remain competitive in a constantly evolving healthcare landscape, top-earning dermatologists and their practices must stay on top of the latest industry trends affecting their patients. 

Two key trends to keep high priority are:

  1. Managing the financial impacts of minimum wage spikes for healthcare staff
  2. Aligning with patient expectations when it comes to modernizing clinical intake

Keep reading to learn more about the impacts of these trends on dermatology practice operations and finances, as well as proactive steps you can take to get ahead of industry changes!

1. Minimum Wage Increases Spike Practice Costs

With many states approving significant minimum wage increases for healthcare workers over the next few years, staffing costs are becoming one of the biggest financial challenges for dermatology practices. 

For example, California recently approved a 30% wage increase for healthcare workers to $21 per hour this year, rising to $25 per hour in 2025. For a practice with four administrative staff, this translates to a jump from $124,000 to $198,400 in average annual salary expenses per employee when you factor in benefits and overhead. This raise is just for administrative staff, not taking into account others on your payroll. Other regions are following suit with 10-30% hourly wage increases.

Can you afford these rising labor costs without offsetting them elsewhere? On top of surging wages, staffing shortages and retention issues continue to plague medical practices. A recent MGMA report found that 56% of groups say staffing is their number one barrier to productivity. To ensure the continued financial health of your practice, decisive action must be taken now to get ahead of impending wage hikes and ongoing staffing challenges. 

Additionally, constant turnover results in a loss of institutional knowledge and revenue leakage from administrative errors and scheduling mishaps. Between finding and training new hires and diminished efficiency, staffing instability creates massive productivity and quality control challenges.

How to Prepare

Getting in front of rising staffing costs and turnover requires a proactive approach focused on both cutting expenses and improving efficiency.

The key is to add more automation to reduce repetitive, manual workloads for staff. Prioritizing technology improvement through automation can offset up to 40% of staffing shortages, according to one recent survey. The right automated solutions standardize workflows, minimize the need for training, and free up employees to take on more fulfilling and complex roles. In turn, this boosts retention and productivity — dropping hiring and training costs.

For example, automated patient self-registration kiosks and pre-check complete with clinical intake greatly accelerate front-end workflows while reducing data entry and administrative headaches for staff. Automated eligibility checks and authorization management ensure clean claim submission without overloading billers.

Getting the right automated systems in place now is crucial to sustain profitability despite imminent wage hikes across the industry. It also enhances stability and satisfaction within your staff by reducing the need for perpetual training and reallocating highly manual work.

2. Dermatology Patients are Urgently Pushing for Modern Clinical Intake Procedures

Today’s dermatology patients expect a spa-like experience from the minute they walk through your doors. Asking them to arrive early to complete a stack of forms simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Patients want the option to complete clinical intake and registrations quickly on their own and in advance from the comfort of their homes.

Almost 50% of patients now desire pre-registration abilities, with that number rising due to viral complaints about excessive in-office paperwork. Your online reputation is also at stake, with 74% of patients reading reviews to select doctors and 59% likely to leave negative feedback about long wait times or outdated administrative processes.

How to Prepare

Implement seamless pre-registration with clinical intake to allow completion from home or on the go on any device! Passwordless solutions see upwards of 90% patient utilization compared to cumbersome patient portal alternatives. Specifically, you’ll want to provide patients links via text or email to complete all registration and health history paperwork online rather than handing them a clipboard when they arrive. Seek solutions that are simple and intuitive for patients to use on any device without needing to remember portal passwords or set up accounts. 

It’s also important to ensure seamless data integration into your practice management and EHR systems. This delivers accurate patient information to staff for improved outcomes. Specifically, the pre-registration solution should feed all collected patient data directly into your backend practice management solution. By integrating the intake data, you enable streamlined workflows and reduce data errors from manual staff intervention.

Additionally, consider complimentary self-check-in kiosks that patients can use once on-site to validate information and make payments. Providing these kiosks creates a seamless experience from pre-registration to the in-office visit. It further reduces front-desk backups and modernizes the patient experience with technology-forward offerings.

By focusing on automated pre-registration and seamless intake procedures now, dermatology practices can transform the patient experience, improve reviews and amplify their ability to compete. Together, these solutions position practices to thrive even with the emerging trends in minimum wage and consumer preferences. There is an opportunity to get ahead of the curve when it comes to robust intake procedures.

Plan for 2024 Dermatology Patient Demands

Staying at the forefront of the latest technologies and patient expectations is key for dermatology practices to remain competitive in the years ahead. Taking a proactive approach by assessing cost-saving automated solutions and upgrading consumer-friendly intake processes now will enable your practice to better manage impending trends like wage hikes and rising patient demands.

Evaluating workflows to integrate technologies that reduce administrative burdens, while providing patients with flexible digital registration options, is crucial to balance both tightening profit margins and patient satisfaction scores. 

Get more insights on the top trends projected to shape dermatology practices in 2024 and beyond with the guide, “Top 6 Trends Dermatology Practices Will Face in 2024”.

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