The growth of a skin emergency teledermatology service from 2008 to 2014

Finnane, Anna, Siller, Gregory, Mujcic, Redzo and Soyer, H. Peter (2016) The growth of a skin emergency teledermatology service from 2008 to 2014. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 57 1: 14-18. doi:10.1111/ajd.12411

Author Finnane, Anna
Siller, Gregory
Mujcic, Redzo
Soyer, H. Peter
Title The growth of a skin emergency teledermatology service from 2008 to 2014
Journal name Australasian Journal of Dermatology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-0960
Publication date 2016-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ajd.12411
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 57
Issue 1
Start page 14
End page 18
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To conduct an audit of the Skin Emergency Telemedicine Service at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane from January to December 2014, and determine whether there has been any change in the number, type and location of referrals.

Retrospective analyses of referrals to the teledermatology service were conducted and compared with the 2012 audit. Main outcomes assessed included the number of referrals, referral site location, telediagnosis categories, image characteristics and response times.


In 2014, 318 cases were referred to the teledermatology service. The highest number of cases (n = 140) were referred from Princess Alexandra Hospital and Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital emergency departments. However, referrals to the teledermatology service came from as far as 1600 km distant from Brisbane. The most common provisional telediagnoses were dermatitis or eczema, skin infection or drug eruption. Over half of all referrals (62%) received a response within 3 h and a further 20% were responded to within 3–6 h. Almost half all referring doctors (48%) attached very large image files (> 500 kb) to their referral.

The Skin Emergency Telemedicine Service has proved to be a successful, sustainable and valuable addition to the specialist dermatology services provided across Queensland. With adequate funding and resources and appropriate attention to ethical and legal considerations, our service could significantly change the management of Queenslanders with acute skin conditions.
Keyword Teledermatology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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