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Introduction Teledermatology services that function separately from patients' primary electronic health record (EHR) can lead to fragmented care, poor provider communication, privacy concerns and billing challenges. This study addresses these challenges by developing PhotoCareMD, a store-and-forward (SAF) teledermatology consultation workflow built entirely within an existing Epic-based EHR. Methods Thirty-six primary care physicians (PCPs) from eight outpatient clinics submitted 215 electronic consults (eConsults) for 211 patients to a Stanford Health Care dermatologist via PhotoCareMD. Comparisons were made with in-person referrals for this same dermatologist prior to initiation of PhotoCareMD. Results Compared to traditional in-person dermatology clinic visits, eConsults decreased the time to diagnosis and treatment from 23 days to 16 hours. The majority (73%) of eConsults were resolved electronically. In-person referrals from PhotoCareMD (27%) had a 50% lower cancellation rate compared with traditional referrals (11% versus 22%). The average in-person visit and documentation was 25 minutes compared with 8 minutes for an eConsult. PhotoCareMD saved 13 additional clinic hours to be made available to the dermatologist over the course of the pilot. At four patients per hour, this opens 52 dermatology clinic slots. Over 96% of patients had a favourable experience and 95% felt this service saved them time. Among PCPs, 100% would recommend PhotoCareMD to their colleagues and 95% said PhotoCareMD was a helpful educational tool. Discussion An internal SAF teledermatology workflow can be effectively implemented to increase access to and quality of dermatologic care. Our workflow can serve as a successful model for other hospitals and specialties.
View details for DOI 10.1177/1357633X18799805
View details for PubMedID 30301409