The following article is part of coverage from the American Academy of Dermatology’s Annual Meeting (AAD 2020). Because of concerns regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, all AAD 2020 sessions and presentations were transitioned to a virtual format. While live events will not proceed as planned, readers can click here to view more news related to research presented during the AAD VMX 2020 virtual experience.

Store-and-forward teledermatology — the practice of non-dermatologists sending clinical images to dermatologists — can improve diagnosis and treatment as well as reduce barriers to specialty care, according to study results presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Virtual Meeting Experience (AAD VMX) 2020, held online from June 12 to 14, 2020.

Researchers conducted a retrospective chart review of store-and-forward teledermatology eConsults from 4 practice settings: MD/DO office visits (n=100), MD/DO walk-in clinics (n=43), NP/PA office visits (n=71), and NP/PA walk-in clinics (n=100) to compare diagnostic concordance between dermatologists and referring providers, treatment change recommendations, and in-person visit referrals.

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Teledermatologists agreed with the healthcare provider diagnosis 50% of the time from an MD/DO office referral, 29.8% of the time from an MD/DO walk-in referral, 33.8% of the time from an NP/PA office referral, and 34% of the time from an NP/PA walk-in referral. Diagnostic agreement was significantly higher from MD/DO offices vs MD/DO walk-ins (P =.21) and NP/PA offices (P =.035). Teledermatologists recommended treatments changes 41% of the time from MD/DO offices, 73.2% of the time from MD/DO walk-ins, 47.9% of the time from NP/PA offices, and 64% of the time from NP/PA walk-ins.

Meanwhile, in-person visits were recommended in 45% of MD/DO office referrals, 36% of the MD/DO walk-in referrals, 46.5% of the NP/PA office referrals, and 22% of the NP/PA walk-in referrals. Overall, in-person visits were recommended more often after office visits vs walk-in clinics (P =.01).

“Potential [face-to-face] visit reduction varied from 53% to 78%, but was reduced more when teledermatology was used in walk-in settings,” the researchers wrote. “Expanding use of this program may improve wait times and maximize healthcare resources.”

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Pasadyn S, McAfee JL, Vij A, Warren CB. Store-and-forward teledermatology impact on diagnosis, treatment, and dermatology referrals: comparison between four practice settings. Presented at: AAD VMX 2020; June 12-14, 2020. Poster 13699.

This article originally appeared on Dermatology Advisor