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Survey on the status of teledermatology in Austria.

Survey on the status of teledermatology in Austria.

Survey on the status of teledermatology in Austria.

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2018 Dec 14;:

Authors: Eber EL, Janda M, Arzberger E, Hofmann-Wellenhof R

BACKGROUND: The use of digital communication media is becoming increasingly important, with the primary aim of improving both treatment quality and patients' quality of life. In an effort to optimize telemedicine in the field of dermatology, we conducted a survey among dermatologists in Austria.
METHODS: Statistical analysis of a questionnaire that was developed by a working group and sent to 769 Austrian dermatologists.
RESULTS: Overall, 243 dermatologists (132 women/111 men) participated in the survey. Forty-seven percent of male respondents and 55 % of female respondents had already received requests for teledermatology consultations. Seventy-three percent felt that telemedicine was able to contribute to relieving the economic burden on the health care system. Telecommunication between dermatologists and experts (in a given field of dermatology) was deemed to be particularly useful. While telemedicine was also considered to be appropriate for patient follow-up, it was viewed to be less useful for initial consultations. Roughly 50 % of respondents used telemedicine to get a second opinion; one-third used it for initial consultations.
CONCLUSIONS: Our survey shows that the majority of participants consider teledermatology to be a useful supplement to the current practice of dermatology. Given its particular usefulness for triage purposes, teledermatology can help reduce the number of trips to the hospital and subsequent waiting times. This in turn leads to cost reduction and saves time for both patients and doctors. Legal regulations that include provisions for appropriate reimbursement of physicians would make using teledermatology more attractive.

PMID: 30549444 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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