Incorporating teledermatology into emergency medicine
MetadataShow full item record
Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the feasibility of using a store-and-forward Skin Emergency Telemedicine Service (SETS) to provide rapid specialist diagnostic and management advice for dermatological cases in an ED. Methods: This pilot study was conducted at the Princess Alexandra Hospital between August 2008 and August 2009. Study subjects were consenting patients over 18 years of age who presented with a dermatological condition to the ED. The ED doctor sent the patient's history, examination findings and the digital images of the skin conditions to a secure email address, which automatically forwarded this to the teledermatologist. The teledermatologist reviewed the cases and sent advice on diagnosis and management to the referring ED doctor via email and/or telephone. Face-to-face follow-up consultations with the patients were conducted within 2 weeks. The diagnostic and management concordance between ED doctors, teledermatologists and reviewing dermatologists were analysed. Results: A total of 60 patients participated in the present study. SETS provided a rapid response with 56 (93%) of ED consultations receiving a dermatology opinion within 2 h. Face-to-face follow up occurred in 50 patients (83%). Statistical analysis showed significant levels of agreement between tele-diagnosis and ED diagnosis of 71.2% (Kappa 0.42) and tele-diagnosis and final clinical diagnosis of 98% (Kappa: 0.93). The clinical management concordance was 96% in complete agreement and 4% in relative agreement between the teledermatologists and reviewing dermatologists, based on chart review. Conclusion: The present study has shown that SETS can provide rapid and accurate diagnostic and treatment advice from a specialist for dermatological presentations to the ED.
Emergency Medicine Australasia
Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified