How can dermatology departments prepare for an expected rebound of referrals as a result of COVID?
Dermatology departments nationwide will need to implement innovative workflow solutions and digitally transform their models of care in order to meet the expected rise in demand and recover their backlog positions.
There is likely to be a rebound surge of both two-week wait referrals and routine dermatology referrals when normal services resume.
Teledermatology has rapidly been deployed nationally, however there are few systems available from verified NHSX communication framework suppliers on the market able to provide a true end-to-end solution, from referral through to discharge, while also conforming to the British Association of Dermatology (BAD) standards.
NHSX recently launched the Teledermatology Funding Programme with funding available to enable trusts to implement tele-dermatology solutions such as our eDerma platform.
How can eDerma help your department ?
Our eDerma system combines effective teledermatology with an advanced clinical workflow planning system to manage the whole patient pathway from referral to virtual assessment, MDT and treatment coordination, follow up and clinic planning, remote monitoring of biological and isotretinoin treatment, and ultimately discharge to the GP.
Across multiple dermatology departments, our eDerma system has facilitated improvements in multiple key performance indicators including: reductions in two-week wait cancer breaches, consultant staffing costs and time to dermatology specialist review.
By implementing new dermatology patient pathways, one partner NHS trust has been able to reduce their departmental locum consultant requirement by two Whole Time Equivalents, whilst at the same time reducing the requirement for face-to-face dermatology appointments by 41%.
How digital tools are transforming patients pathways in dermatology ?
Our approach has empowered clients to re-shape their model of care delivery by implementing new ways of working using cloud-based technology, enhancing patient pathways in both primary and secondary care in three key areas:
1. Primary care – community tele-dermatology
With the use of cloud-based software, a mobile device (e.g. iPad) and dermatoscope attachment, the service can be deployed rapidly to support fast, accurate and safe dermatology assessments for patients in the community with improved communication channels between GPs and Dermatology specialists.
2. Secondary care – Inpatients
With the increasing centralisation of services, the digital cloud-based platform can be used to reduce the requirement for face-to-face consults for hospital inpatients requiring dermatology assessment, where the dermatology specialists may not be based within the acute hospital.
3. Secondary care – Outpatients
Healthcare organisations have the ability to triage patients more accurately with eDerma from the point of referral adhering to the British Association of Dermatology (BAD) guidelines, resulting in a reduced number of face-to-face appointments required.
Increasingly, dermatology services are becoming centralised, leading to many acute hospitals not having dermatology inpatient services available regularly on site.
Dermatology consults can now take place remotely, where a case can be reviewed by a specialist, initial treatment advice provided and the patient triaged to appropriate follow-up, such as an outpatient dermatology clinic after discharge, or to be followed up by their GP. This reduces the unnecessary travel costs and time traditionally required to provide this service, and permits more efficient use of a dermatology specialist’s time.
Find out more
More information about the significant impact eDerma had at one of our partner trusts can be found in the Luton & Dunstable eDerma Case Study.
Open Medical specialises in digitising patient pathways for multiple specialities, as well as Teledermatology services using the latest NHS Digital approved cloud-based technology and is available for procurement on the G-Cloud framework.
All our products meet the strict information governance and data compliance criteria set out by NHS Digital.
For further information on our products or if you would like to arrange a demonstration please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.