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Invited Commentary | Practice Gaps

Improving Accessibility to Inpatient Dermatology Through Teledermatology

Lindy P. Fox, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(4):424-425. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.9516.
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Inpatient dermatology as a subspecialty has matured during the past decade. However, even when admitted for a dermatologic-specific diagnosis, only 51% of patients receive a dermatologic consultation.1 Several factors contribute to the lack of accessible dermatologists, including the dermatologic workforce shortage, the location of most dermatologists in outpatient settings away from hospitals, low remuneration for time spent in the hospital, unease in caring for the diseases seen in hospitalized patients, inefficiencies and burdens of consulting in inpatient settings, and, in the community, the lack of residents to help deliver the care. An additional and significant barrier for the dermatologist is interfacing with a hospital’s electronic medical record, which requires hours of training before first use and fluency in its intricacies to achieve efficiency.

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