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Teledermatology patient satisfaction in the Pacific Northwest.

Hsueh MT, Eastman K, McFarland LV, Raugi GJ, Reiber GE. Teledermatology patient satisfaction in the Pacific Northwest. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2012 Jun 1; 18(5):377-81.

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BACKGROUND: The aim of this quality improvement project is to assess patient satisfaction with a store-and-forward teledermatology project and to identify factors associated with patient satisfaction and dissatisfaction. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Veterans receiving care in rural clinics in the Pacific Northwest were surveyed using a 5-point Likert scale about satisfaction with face-to-face care for a skin complaint prior to any teledermatology exposure. One year later, veterans in the same rural clinics were surveyed about satisfaction with teledermatology care using a more comprehensive survey. Ninety-six patients completed the face-to-face satisfaction survey questions, and 501 completed the teledermatology satisfaction survey. RESULTS: Most (78%) of surveyed patients were highly satisfied or satisfied with face-to-face dermatology care. After 1 year of teledermatology, 77% of patients were highly satisfied or satisfied with teledermatology care. The mean patient satisfaction score for teledermatology was equivalent to face-to-face care (4.1 1.2 and 4.3 1.0, p = 0.4). Factors associated with teledermatology patient satisfaction included short wait times for initial consultation, a perception that the initial wait time was not too long, a perception that the skin condition was properly treated, and the belief that adequate follow-up was received. Factors associated with teledermatology patient dissatisfaction included perceptions that the skin condition was not properly treated and that inadequate follow-up was received. CONCLUSIONS: Teledermatology was widely accepted by the majority of patients receiving care at rural clinics. Patient satisfaction with care received through teledermatology was equivalent to that with face-to-face dermatology.

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