Dr Francis, a GP at Wareham Surgery in Dorset, uses the PhotoSAF feature within the Consultant Connect App to take images which he then attaches to e-RS Advice & Guidance (A&G) requests. The dermatology A&G service in Dorset is delivered by local consultant dermatologists who aim to respond to all queries within 48 hours. Dr Francis can also use the Consultant Connect App to make Telephone Advice & Guidance calls to local consultants at University Hospitals Dorset.
Dr Francis describes below how he has recently helped two patients using the app.
The use of PhotoSAF allows patients to be monitored in primary care
‘A patient was advised to see me by another health professional who had noticed a change in one of the patient’s moles. I would have referred the patient to a dermatology clinic had it not been for A&G – possibly even on the fast-track suspected cancer pathway. Not only did this Advice & Guidance service give me the confidence to seek advice, but once I had received a reply from a dermatologist, it also gave me the confidence to reassure my patient. This avoided further anxiety for my patient as well as a referral.’
How PhotoSAF helped:
‘A consultant dermatologist replied by e-RS to the image I sent advising that the attached photos were of super quality. The dermatologist was able to comment on macroscopic and dermatoscopic features (as I had held my phone’s camera directly over a dermatoscope for one of the images) and to state that the lesion looked benign. The dermatologist suggested that a GP see the patient again in four months to compare the mole with the images taken via PhotoSAF.’
Telephone Advice & Guidance on the app gets timely results for patient
A patient presented to Dr Francis with symptoms suggesting Giant Cell Arteritis. Dr Francis was able to use immediate Telephone Advice & Guidance on the Consultant Connect App to speak to a local rheumatologist at University Hospitals Dorset. The consultant advised on the best course of action. Dr Francis commented that he ‘can highly recommend’ using this service.
How Telephone Advice & Guidance helped:
‘Speaking to a consultant was an excellent, direct, and time-saving way to access timely consultant advice. Using the app is the easiest way to speak to a specialist consultant I have yet to find.’
Dr Francis also explained that he called Rheumatology again a week later. This ensured that the patient had a timely clinic review to consider a temporal artery biopsy. This was a positive result as Telephone Advice & Guidance allowed the patient to get quick and effective care.