Rego Teledermatology allowed GPs to make structured, relevant electronic referrals to consultants, supported by images, required for a meaningful assessment of patients’ skin condition, resulting in 47% of patients not requiring a hospital appointment.
…by triaging the routine referrals we can pick up more than 10% of skin cancers otherwise waiting to be seen as non-urgent, have been able to create a bond of trust and strengthen the interface between primary and secondary care and improve patient care by providing guidance on further management within 2 days through digital advice to GPs.
In Ipswich and East Suffolk, patients often waited several weeks or months to be seen and had to travel long distances to a hospital for appointments.
At the height of Covid-19, it also became necessary to reduce in person outpatient attendance due to risk of infection while maintaining care and support for patients.
The Vantage team worked with GPs, hospital consultants, the Trust’s IT team and commissioners to introduce Rego Teledermatology, which allows GPs to make structured, relevant electronic referrals to consultants, supported by images, required for a meaningful assessment of patients’ skin condition.
Launched directly from primary care record systems such as SystmOne or Emis, the platform captures the patient demographics and medical history from the clinical record automatically into the form. New technology developed during the pandemic enabled patient images to be uploaded remotely either through Vantage’s mobile app, or by practices, with clinicians able to upload images they received via other virtual consultation platforms such as eConsult and AccuRx.
With a written referral supported by images, the consultant can offer rapid advice and guidance back to the GP without the patient having to attend the hospital, usually within 2-3 working days. The whole process is automated so the GP avoids having to undertake manual checks of referrals against complex pathway guidance.