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Patient and clinician satisfaction with a store-and-forward teledermatology consult system.

Whited JD, Hall RP, Foy ME, Marbrey LE, Grambow SC, Dudley TK, Datta SK, Simel DL, Oddone EZ. Patient and clinician satisfaction with a store-and-forward teledermatology consult system. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2004 Oct 1; 10(4):422-31.

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The aim of this study was to assess satisfaction with and acceptance of a store and forward teledermatology consult system among patients, referring primary-care clinicians, and consultant dermatologists. As part of a randomized clinical trial that compared the clinical and economic outcomes of store and forward teledermatology to a conventional referral process, we conducted satisfaction assessments among participating patients, referring primary-care clinicians, and consultant dermatologists. Survey questions included issues related to the timeliness of each consult process, the confidence participants displayed in each consult modality, and assessments of overall satisfaction and preferences. A majority of referring clinicians (92%) and dermatologist consultants (75%) reported overall satisfaction with the teledermatology consult process. Ninety-five percent of referring clinicians reported that teledermatology resulted in more timely referrals for their patients. This finding was validated by the observation that teledermatology patients reached a point of initial intervention significantly sooner than did patients in usual care (41 days versus 127 days, p = 0.0001). Teledermatology patients reported satisfaction with the outcome of their teledermatology consultation 82% of the time. However, patients did not express a clear preference for a consult method. A total of 41.5% of patients preferred teledermatology, 36.5% preferred usual care, and 22% were neutral. Our study showed a high level of satisfaction among all users of a store-and-forward teledermatology consult system, and, in some cases, our survey results could be validated with observed clinical outcomes.

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