Creative and Disruptive Use of Virtual Health Technology to Increase Access to Specialty Services in Los Angeles County: Dermatology Expansion and Optimization Program
2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Los Angeles County, Calif., CA
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Health (Best in Category)
Delayed access to specialty care services is associated with poorer health outcomes and contributes to health disparities across socioeconomically vulnerable groups. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS) provides a substantial share of care to these patients across a wide and diverse geographic area, particularly for in-demand and vital specialty services like dermatology. To mitigate critical gaps in access to specialty dermatology services, LADHS developed an innovative dermatology expansion by optimizing personnel and operations by leveraging various digital and telehealth tools to improve patient-centered care while meeting the geographic disparities of access to dermatology. This program reduced geographic disparities in service delivery by expanding services in three key areas across the county, decreased the travel burden for patients through expansion of virtual healthcare tools, improved performance on internal metrics focused on operations and timely access to care and increased adherence to evidence-based treatment protocols and surveillance among patients with skin cancer.