Dr Inma Mauri-Sole is an Associate Specialist and the Clinical Lead for Dermatology at The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.
Nearly a year after their Teledermatology pilot began, Dr Mauri-Sole talks to us about how the Dermatology Team overcame initial reservations and significantly improved patient care using the Consultant Connect App.
1. What were your reservations implementing Teledermatology through Consultant Connect, prior to your initial trial?
- “Extra workload for consultants
- Poor quality images
- Poor quality referrals
- Duplication of work
- Unclear pathways
- Increase in referrals.”
2. How easy have you found it to use?
- “Very easy, quick and responsive platform
- Very reliable
- Accessible from desktop, laptop, iPad, phone
- Easy to access images.”
3. How has it helped your department?
- “Referral management and triaging of both lesions and inflammatory dermatoses
- Improved communication and ease of advice to GPs
- Educational tool for GPs
- Easy to give feedback re referral and image quality
- Good way of advising GP to perform further investigations and manage patients in primary care
- Useful way to identify which patients need to be fast tracked for an urgent referral or 2ww.”
4. Have your found your team’s workload has been impacted by reviewing these cases?
- “There has been a steady increase on cases and some of these are complex. Initially and during the trial period it may be ad hoc however data should be available to inform when it amounts to a PA or pro-rata.
- Long term this activity probably needs to be timetabled and included in consultant job plans as Direct Clinical Care (DCC).”
5. What are the benefits of using this system vs Email/letters?
- “We get data reports for audit and statistics.
- Ability to inform referral pathways and give fast feedback to GPs regarding advice and guidance.
- Good teaching resource for trainees and dermatology registrars with case image bank and for training as this will now be included in the new Dermatology curriculum.”
6. What do your patients see as the main benefits to your patients?
- “Patients are avoiding unnecessary visits to hospital and long waits
- Patients are having an outcome to their skin problem within 48 hours
- Patients that need to be referred urgently are fast tracked
- More patients are being treated in the community.”