Use of telemedicine to supplement dermatologic care can improve access for underserved patients, according to study results published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. In addition, patients receiving telemedicine tend to experience reduced wait times for a follow-up in-person appointment with a specialist, if one is needed at all.
The investigators conducted a cross-sectional evaluation of all ambulatory dermatology referrals and electronic dermatology consultations (eConsults) at Ohio State University in Columbus from January 2017 through January 2019. Ambulatory referrals included all conventional referrals to dermatology placed by an outpatient provider, while eConsults allowed outpatient providers to select a diagnosis, answer targeted questions, and send digital images using the electronic record management system to a consulting dermatologist. In addition, the investigators conducted an unplanned manual audit from January through March 2018 to examine dermatology appointment wait times and status (attended, cancelled, or “no show”).