Efficient clinical pathways are needed to meet the growing pressures in dermatology due to the significant rise in the number of suspected skin cancer referrals. Our hospital serves a wide geographical area and receives a large number of 2-week-wait (2WW) suspected skin cancer referrals. In the United Kingdom, approximately 10–12% of 2WW referrals are diagnosed as skin cancers fulfilling the 2WW criteria.
We sought to assess the role of teledermatology in reducing hospital consultations for patients referred via the dermatology 2WW pathway.
We piloted a teledermatology service and detailed the clinical outcomes of patients with solitary skin lesions of uncertain diagnosis triaged through this pathway. Seventy-six primary care referrals were reviewed by consultant dermatologists and analyzed against the British Association of Dermatologists' teledermatology audit standards.
In 52/76 (68%) of patients, confident benign diagnoses were made, avoiding the need for a face-to-face (FTF) consultation.
Our results showed that with adequate image quality, teledermatology can be used to accurately diagnose skin lesions.
Teledermatology can significantly reduce the number of urgent referrals necessitating FTF appointments, therefore providing a new solution to streamline care delivery.
For more information on this article, contact Chung-mei Maggie Cheung at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presented as an oral presentation at the 6th World Congress for Teledermatology; October 14, 2016; London, United Kingdom.
C. M. Cheung, K. Muttardi, and S. Chinthapalli: data collection, data analysis, and writing. F. Ismail: writing and overall responsibility.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.