Photo Advice & Guidance for Teledermatology

using the Consultant Connect App

“The benefits of using the app are significant for both my patients and myself. Being able to access a specialist dermatological review in real-time is revolutionary.” 

%

of patients avoid a referral when clinicians use our photo-messaging app for Advice & Guidance

Reduce demand for dermatology referrals

in your area

Reducing demand for dermatology is straightforward with the Consultant Connect App. It’s so easy, clinicians don’t need any training to start!  If you are already looking at local pathways, click here to download our Photo Advice & Guidance Pathways guide. 
  • Easy (and fast) to roll out – no specialist equipment
  • Easy to use
  • Deflects away from 2WW
  • Improves quality of 2WW
  • Improves internal referrals and work-flow

Universal (can be used across specialties and clinicians) including…

Most Popular Pathways

1. Direct to Secondary Care Pathway (using the rapid ‘share’ feature in the Consultant Connect App)

Images and notes can be sent rapidly to dermatologists using the photo-messaging ‘share’ feature in the Consultant Connect App. Images and notes can also be shared between clinicians within a closed group for training or group analysis. The responding specialist receives a notification in the app or on their desktop. The specialist is then able to respond to the GP, mark the case as done and either clinician leaves an outcome e.g referral avoided.

Once the images have been taken, they are saved to a secure online cloud and are NOT saved to the device. In areas where this is enabled, the photos and a PDF summary can also be automatically sent to the sending clinician’s NHS email address.

Solihull Project:

Our Photo Advice & Guidance project in Solihull, which is commissioned by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, is having a really positive impact. GPs are able to immediately and securely share dermatology images with a community GPER using the ‘share’ feature within the app. This saves them time and significantly improves patient care and experience.

Solihull clinicians
Solihull patient experiences
SE London Project:

The six CCGs that make up the South East London STP (NHS Bexley CCG, NHS Bromley CCG, NHS Greenwich CCG, NHS Lambeth CCG, NHS Lewisham CCG, NHS Southwark CCG) are using the Consultant Connect app to take photos in an IG compliant way, attached them to patient records, referrals and e-RS advice and guidance requests. Some of the CCGs in the STP have gone a step further and are using the Photo Advice & Guidance within the app to share photos directly with teams of dermatologists, who are able to offer advice in only a few hours. 81% of requests made this way have resulted in a referral avoided (data from September 2018 – June 2019).

SE London GP: 

Dr Overbury, a GP in Southwark, sends photos to Dermatologists at Guy’s and Saint Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She comments: “The benefits of using the app are significant for both my patients and myself. Being able to access a specialist dermatological review in real-time is revolutionary.  The consultant can see the examination findings visually along with my description, which means diagnoses are being made more accurately and a lot faster. Patients appreciate the joined up approach, as their case has been reviewed by both a GP and a specialist.”

Click  here to read the patient case study.

2. e-RS A&G Pathway (using the ‘PhotoSAF’ feature in the Consultant Connect App)

Clinicians use the ‘PhotoSAF’ feature on the Consultant Connect App to take IG-compliant images on their personal smartphones or iPads. The images are saved to a secure cloud and are NOT saved to the device. In areas where this is enabled, the photos and a PDF summary can also be automatically sent to the clinician’s NHS email address. The images are also accessible via a secure cloud and can be uploaded to e-RS for referral or advice.

Dorset Project: ‘Transforming Healthcare Through Innovation’

Our Teledermatology project in Dorset uses the Consultant Connect App and e-RS Advice & Guidance. Teledermatology was commissioned by NHS Dorset CCG and launched in September 2018.

Since the video below was made the results have improved further with over 6,000 photos being taken and 70% of requests for advice this way have resulted in an unnecessary referral being avoided. (Data correct: September 2019).

What clinicians in Dorset think 
Leeds Project: Improving Cancer Care

Our teledermatology project in Leeds is working to speed up diagnosis of dangerous skin lesions and is also helping to reduce demand on the 2WW pathway.

GPs in Leeds take photos safely using the Consultant Connect App. These photos are then included in all 2WW referrals on e-RS.

Currently, around 28% of 2WW referrals are being discharged before the patient attends hospital. This has freed up a lot of specialist capacity. 

A guide to taking best photos for telederm

We created this guide in partnership with NHS Dorset CCG:

Fill in the short form below to download the Guide:

Taking photos for telederm Guide - download form on telederm page

Find out how your area could join the thousands of clinicians using our app to improve patient care 

Download the guide

Already looking at local pathways? Fill in the short form below to download our Photo Advice & Guidance Pathways guide.

Photo Advice & Guidance Pathways download form on telederm page

Teledermatology in practice – patient experiences

Benefits of teledermatology

“The benefits of using the app are significant for both my patients and me as a GP. Being able to access a specialist dermatological review in real time is revolutionary. The consultant is able to see the examination findings visually along with my description, which means diagnoses are being made more accurately and a lot faster. Patients appreciate the joined up approach, knowing that their case has been reviewed by both a GP and a specialist.

This has made the whole system more efficient in terms of reducing referrals and ensures that the referrals that are made can be targeted appropriately by the specialist. As GPs, we are continuously learning and this app provides excellent learning opportunities as we are able to hone our ongoing management of dermatological presentations by learning from the specialists.” Dr Alice Overbury, Silverlock Medical Centre, Southwark

Child with severe skin condition

Dr Anwar’s patient was a child with an itchy body rash and a history of eczema. As Dr Anwar was “unsure if this rash was eczema or something else,” she used the Consultant Connect App to take clinical pictures of her patient. These pictures were shared immediately with the Dermatology Team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust by clicking the ‘share a photo’ option on the app. The reviewing dermatologist diagnosed the rash to be chronic eczema with lichenification and follicular morphologies and gave Dr Anwar a detailed treatment plan for the patient.

When asked what happened to the patient as a result, Dr Anwar said: “The patient was provided with the correct treatment plan early on. They did not need to wait for a dermatology hospital appointment – a potential hospital referral was avoided.” 

Monitoring skin lesions & reassuring patients

Dr Napper has used the Consultant Connect App on multiple occasions for documenting skin lesions.” She takes a picture of the lesion in question, adds relevant notes “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.”

“It is quicker, easier and more convenient.”  (than using the practice digital camera).

Housebound patient with suspicious lesions

Dr Kendrick’s patient had lesions but was 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 the Consultant Connect App and, upon downloading it from the secure cloud to her computer, was able to forward it to a dermatology consultant at her local hospital.

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.

Patient with skin cancer concern

Dr Anggiansah’s patient was concerned he “might have developed changes to a skin cancer incision scar but examination revealed no concerning features.” Dr Anggiansah used the Consultant Connect App to take an image of the patient’s scar and later downloaded it so that it could be “reviewed at intervals.” When the scar was reviewed at intervals, the photos “evidenced no change.” Dr Anggiansah was pleased with the use of the Consultant Connect App as it saved the patient “further anxiety.” He also highlighted that a secondary care referral was avoided – saving time for both the patient and local consultants.

Struggling to resource dermatology?

Click here to find out how our out-of-area National Consultant Network can help. Our Network enables your clinicians to send images to out-of-area NHS consultant dermatologists for rapid Advice & Guidance.

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