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10301 Bolsa Avenue, Suite 101, Westminster, CA 92683

By Nhuhao Do

May 23rd, 2020

As our nation and the world work together to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, elective surgery practices have adapted and innovated in different ways to provide care for their patients. Since the statewide lockdown order by Governor Gavin Newsom came into effect on March 19th, 2020, hospital elective surgery was deferred to support the State’s efforts to flatten the curve of the pandemic and to reserve hospital resources. However, this precaution was not implemented without a cost. The hold previously placed on elective surgeries, such as reconstructive, tumor removal, and hand surgery, left many patients wary with their ongoing conditions. To combat such deficiency in patient care, out-patient clinics throughout California have evolved to maximize telehealth or telephonic modality. Some elective surgical practices even thrived above and beyond to provide virtual care for their patients while complying with local safety restrictions. Such clinics invite patients to send in digital photos for evaluation as well as utilizing online platforms, such as Whatsapp, Facetime, or Zoom to host virtual consultation and discuss post-operative instructions to patients who received surgeries prior to the lockdown. 

While these popular platforms are convenient, they might not be the most secured to exchange doctors and patients’ confidential information. Prior to the unprecedented events due the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tuan Tran, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S has realized this flaw in the system and led a team to develop a mobile app specifically created to virtually connect patients and physicians nationally through HIPAA compliant video consultations. BeautyQuest is an Android and iOS supported mobile app that offers a comprehensive search engine available for users to connect with local plastic and reconstructive surgeons. Our surgeons offer many procedures including breast augmentation, liposuction, blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, facelift and facial feminization. Users will have the ability to schedule a one-on-one video consultation with their surgeon securely at the comfort of their homes. On top of that, users may find several other helpful features, such as posting questions on the community page and taking advantage of available promotions offered by their favorite surgeons. Meanwhile, providers using BeautyQuest have a superior outlet to engage in the community and connect with potential patients. BeautyQuest is expected to be launched in mid June for Southern California users. More information can be found on https://www.beautyquest.com/

As Gov. Gavin Newsom announced lifting the ban on hospital elective surgery on April 22nd, 2020, we are optimistic and cautious to move forward while taking each patient’s case into account for priority. Office visit screening for COVID-19 and social distancing are implemented at Tran Plastic Surgery to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Moreover, patients who are expected to be under anesthesia for their procedure are required to be tested for COVID-19 PCR at 4-5 business days prior to their scheduled surgery and to remain quarantined till their surgery. With these safeguards in place, we are looking forward to seeing new patients utilize virtual consultation via BeautyQuest to assess their needs and schedule in-office visits as appropriate in the coming weeks.      

References

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, May 14). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved May 23, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/groups-at-higher-risk.html

Giunta, R. E., Frank, K., Costa, H., Demirdöver, C., Benedetto, C., Elander, A., Henley, M., Murray, D. J.,  Schaefer, D., Spendel, S., Vasar, O., &  Zic, R. (2020, April 29). The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on plastic surgery in Europe: An ESPRAS survey. Thieme, n/a. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1169-4443 

Martichoux, A., & Miguel, K. (2020, April 10). Coronavirus data: See how the curve of COVID-19 cases is bending in each Bay Area county. ABC7 News. Retrieved May 23, 2020, from https://abc7news.com/coronavirus-curve-flattening-us-cases-california/6090454/

Paavola, A. (2020, April 23). California OKs resumption of elective procedures: California Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted a statewide hold on hospital elective procedures April 22. Becker’s Hospital Review. Retrieved May 23, 2020, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/patient-flow/california-oks-resumption-of-elective-procedures.html

Pignatti, M., Pinto, V., Lozano Miralles, M. E. , Giorgini, F. A., & Cipriani, R. (2020, May 9). How the COVID-19 pandemic changed the Plastic Surgery activity in a regional referral center in Northern Italy. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjps.2020.05.002

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