GP case study: Teledermatology
Dr Claire Kendrick works at St Chad’s and Chilcompton Surgery in Bath and North East Somerset CCG. Dr Kendrick has been a GP for 22 years and uses Safe Clinical Photography (PhotoSAF) via the Consultant Connect App to securely take clinical photos on her mobile phone. Dr Kendrick and GPs in her area also have access to Phone Advice & Guidance (provided by Consultant Connect and commissioned by the CCG) from Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.
Many GPs find it a lot easier to take pictures on their mobile phones rather than having to find their practice camera. One of the key benefits of using PhotoSAF via the Consultant Connect App is that this feature allows GPs to take photos in an IG-secure and GDPR compliant way (even when they’re on the move at home visits for example).
Before having access to PhotoSAF, Dr Kendrick writes that she would take pictures “on [her] iPhone” but admits that she much prefers to use PhotoSAF as it is:
“More secure and confidential – I don’t have to remember to delete the photos before I leave the building or to stop them from syncing with my iPad when I get home.”
She also finds it “more robust [as she] can’t forget about the photos because they will be on the system and easily identifiable.”
Dr Kendrick uses PhotoSAF in different ways. For example, she has taken photos of cellulitis and has saved them for her colleague to review “later in the week on a day when I am not present to help” monitor any changes in the patient’s condition.
We asked Dr Kendrick to provide two further examples of when she used PhotoSAF to benefit her patients.
Example 1: Unnecessary referral avoided using PhotoSAF
A patient presented with skin lesions that needed to be “reviewed over a period of time to see if there were any changes.”
Dr Kendrick could securely photograph the lesions with PhotoSAF and was later able to download and save them to the patient’s medical record.
How PhotoSAF helped:
The photos were compared to the lesions at a later date and it was clear that they had “remained unchanged.” Dr Kendrick explained that using PhotoSAF meant that a “referral was avoided.”
Example 2: PhotoSAF allows GP to get A&G for housebound patient
Another patient also had lesions but was, in this case, housebound. The patient did not want to be referred to hospital but Dr Kendrick felt that the lesions may be cancerous and so she “wanted advice.” She took a picture using PhotoSAF and, upon downloading it from the secure cloud to her computer, was able to forward it to a dermatology consultant at RUH.
How PhotoSAF helped:
The consultant reviewed the image and agreed that it was likely to be a form of cancer. The patient was assured that a referral was necessary and “agreed to be seen by a consultant.” This ensured that the patient got the necessary medical care.
We work with over 60 CCGs/Health Boards, 50 Hospitals, and 2,500 GP practices. Find out how we help them:
A GP in Southwark CCG uses Photo Advice & Guidance to get immediate A&G from the Dermatology Team at his local trust for a patient with a facial rash not responding to treatment.
In this video, consultants from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust share their thoughts on the benefits of using the Phone Advice & Guidance service.
A GP in NHS Tayside Health Board avoids admission for patient with possible pneumonia of influenza by using Phone A&G to speak to a specialist at Ninewells Hospital.
One of the most common questions we encounter when discussing Phone Advice & Guidance is “what do the consultants think about it?” We sent a film crew to NGH to ask exactly that question.
For more information about how we work with commissioners, hospitals & mental health trusts to improve patient care, please get in touch.
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