GP case study: Teledermatology
Dr Catherine Napper is a locum GP in Bath and North East Somerset CCG. She has been a GP for six months and uses the PhotoSAF feature on the Consultant Connect App to take clinical photos. Dr Napper and other GPs in this area also have access to Consultant Connect’s immediate Phone Advice & Guidance service. This service rapidly connects them to consultants at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Napper comments that taking photos of her patients before she had PhotoSAF often involved “leaving the consulting room to get the shared camera.”
This is an inconvenience that many GPs face as cameras are often difficult to locate and may not always be fully charged. Cameras are also not always available when doing home visits.
Dr Napper prefers to use PhotoSAF because it’s on her mobile so:
“It is quicker, easier and more convenient.”
We asked Dr Napper what she would say to GPs who have the Consultant Connect App available in their area but who have not used it yet. She reaffirmed how simple she finds the app and its PhotoSAF feature to use:
“It is about time that we embrace the technology that we have so readily at hand!”
We asked Dr Napper to describe how she uses PhotoSAF when she is with her patients. She provided the following examples.
Dr Napper comments that she has found PhotoSAF useful on multiple occasions for “documenting skin lesions.” She takes a picture of the lesion in question, adds relevant notes and then adds it “to the patient’s medical record so that other clinicians can see what I was seeing at the time the photo was taken.” She has “found it most useful for patients with lesions where there is patient concern about change. This is because the original photo and a repeat one can be easily compared, which I find can be more compelling than verbal reassurance alone.”
How PhotoSAF helped:
Dr Napper comments that being able to monitor patients using PhotoSAF has “prevented onward referrals.” In addition, in cases where comparing photos taken at different times has highlighted a concerning change in the patient’s condition, Dr Napper has been able to quickly arrange a referral.
We work with over 60 CCGs/Health Boards, 50 Hospitals, and 2,900 GP practices. Find out how we help them:
A GP in Somerset CCG used the Consultant Connect App to get A&G from the Rheumatology Team at his local trust for a patient with atypical Polymyalgia Rheumatica presentation.
Read our latest feature, created by HSJ in co-operation with the Leeds Cancer Programme about how teledermatology is improving cancer care in Leeds.
Dr Barnes, a consultant in Sunderland, answers a Phone Advice & Guidance call and avoids an admission for an elderly patient.
A GP in Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board avoids an acute admission for a patient with inflammatory bowel disease by using Phone A&G to speak to a gastroenterologist from his local hospital.
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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