Researchers at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, in Sacramento, assessed the impact of live interactive teledermatology consultations on changes in diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes.
First, the details.
- Medical records were evaluated for 1500 patients who underwent live interactive teledermatology consultation.
- Patients seen for more than 1 teledermatology visit were included in the assessment.
And, the results.
- Compared with diagnoses and treatment plans from referring physicians, the 1500 live interactive teledermatology consultations resulted in changes in the following areas.
- Diagnosis: 70% of patients
- Changes in disease management in 98% of patients
- Among 313 patients with at least 2 teledermatology visits within 1 year, improvement was observed in 69% of patients.
- Changes in diagnosis, changes in disease management, and the number of teledermatology visits were significantly associated with improved clinical outcomes.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Live interactive teledermatology consultations result in changes in diagnosis and disease management in most consultations.”
Increased communication between doctor and patients results in better outcomes. The “tele” part of telecommunications is especially in dermatology where it’s important to be able to see the disease. As costs rise, the “Skype type” electronic option helps maintain quality care.
1/22/12 19:30 JR