Patient advocacy organizations seek to increase their benefits for patients with skin disease; low awareness and patient referrals among dermatologists have presented an obstacle to this.
To determine whether the Skin Advocate iPhone App would increase awareness and referrals to patient advocacy organizations in the Coalition of Skin Diseases (CSD) among Texas dermatologists and dermatology residents and patient registrations among CSD member organizations.
Design, Setting, and Participants
We present results of an institutional review board–exempted investigation conducted among member organizations of the CSD and among dermatologists and dermatology residents in Texas from April 1, 2011, through March 31, 2013. Effects were measured in a blinded fashion subjectively through pre-intervention and post-intervention surveys and objectively through internal analytics that tracked downloads and use of the iPhone app, as well as pre-intervention and post-intervention numbers of registrations for CSD member organizations.
The Skin Advocate iPhone App.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Awareness and referrals to patient advocacy organizations in the CSD among Texas dermatologists and dermatology residents and patient registrations among CSD member organizations.
Throughout the study, mean app use ranged from 3.3 to 3.6 uses per user per month, maintaining the 3-fold improvement compared with self-reported referral for 90% of the study population and a 12-fold improvement for 64% of the study population. Our data revealed substantial improvement in self-reported physician awareness and referrals, and increased patient registrations for CSD organizations.
Conclusions and Relevance
The Skin Advocate iPhone App improved physician awareness and subsequent referrals to CSD member organizations.