Dr Nellie Konnikov Discusses Teledermatology in the VA

Research has shown that care provided through teledermatology is comparable to that delivered in face-to-face appointments, and future dermatologists are being taught to deliver care this way to improve patient access to expert dermatological care, said Nellie Konnikov, MD, professor and chief of dermatology at the Boston Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Transcript (modified)
Is there any research on how the outcomes of teledermatology compare with those of face-to-face appointments?
Over the last 7 to 10 years, there are plenty of publications proving that it is effective methods of delivering dermatologic care ot our veterans. Research came from different VAs; for example, Milwaukee VA and Providence VA, especially, with satisfaction among patients and among doctors very high and comparable to care with face to face dermatology.

How would you like to see teledermatology evolve and improve?
Teledermatology is the part of the armamentarium within the whole healthcare delivery system. Right now we teach future dermatologists, residents in dermatology, to provide this type of care. And I think it will compliment any healthcare system in terms of access to expert dermatological care, and cost effectiveness of it.

What are some of the main barriers to implementing teledermatology?
The barrier could be the acceptance among primary care physicians because it's not how good the advice is, or how correct the diagnosis is, it's only if we have nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, or primary care physicians to follow our management advice, and to follow up with patients with skin disorders.
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