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Practical Dermatology: 6 Tools That Can Benefit Every Dermatology Provider

gettyimages_1169769901_zoster_differential_patient_800px.jpgby Steven Leon, MS, PA-C (MAY 2020)

Everyone has a favorite tool or technique. Something that once discovered, you would not want to practice medicine without. In the digital age, not only do we have physical tools but also websites and apps. Below are six dermatology tools that will enhance your practice and increase patient satisfaction.

4. VisualDx

Textbooks are great. They provide detailed information, and if you have enough of them on a bookshelf people think you are really smart. However a textbook will not provide you with a differential diagnosis list with limited data. A textbook will also not give you access to dozens of pictures and the ability to email patient-friendly versions of diagnosis summaries directly to your patients.

The benefits of using VisualDx is two-fold. One, it allows you to quickly search concise summaries of a comprehensive library of dermatologic conditions. Second, you can enter the lesion type, symptoms, and other clinical factors and search the relevant diagnosis. Your results are displayed by: Consider first, consider second, emergencies, and drug induced. ICD 10 codes are included as well. Most practices have EMR, which means having a monitor or tablet in the room. Using VisualDx to show patients pictures of others with their skin conditions and point out key sections in the text greatly enhances patient education and increases patients' confidence in your diagnosis. Instead of telling them what the diagnosis is you are showing them what the diagnosis is. To top it all off there is an option to email a diagnosis summary (and in many cases a patient friendly version) that you just reviewed with your patient. Say goodbye to your pamphlet rack if you still have one.

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About VisualDx

VisualDx is an award-winning diagnostic clinical decision support system that has become the standard electronic resource at more than half of U.S. medical schools and more than 1,500 hospitals and institutions nationwide.  VisualDx combines clinical search with the world's best medical image library, plus medical knowledge from experts to help with diagnosis, treatment, self-education, and patient communication. Expanding to provide diagnostic decision support across General Medicine, the new VisualDx brings increased speed and accuracy to the art of diagnosis. Learn more at