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Pilot Teledermatology Service for Assessing Solitary Skin Lesions in a Tertiary London Dermatology Center

Cheung, Chung-mei Maggie; Muttardi, Kayria; Chinthapalli, Suchitra; Ismail, Ferina

The Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ): January/February 2019 - Volume 41 - Issue 1 - p e1–e6
doi: 10.1097/JHQ.0000000000000142
Original Article

Background: 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.

Purpose: We sought to assess the role of teledermatology in reducing hospital consultations for patients referred via the dermatology 2WW pathway.

Methods: 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.

Results: In 52/76 (68%) of patients, confident benign diagnoses were made, avoiding the need for a face-to-face (FTF) consultation.

Conclusions: Our results showed that with adequate image quality, teledermatology can be used to accurately diagnose skin lesions.

Implications: 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

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.

© 2019 National Association for Healthcare Quality
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