Patient wait times for an appointment with dermatology professionals have steadily increased during the past decade and now average more than a month, though some patients could wait almost a year for an appointment. For parents that have children with skin conditions, these statistics can be frightening and often take an emotional toll on families.
At a large regional children’s hospital, the average wait time for an appointment was approximately six months. To address this challenge, while still providing quality care at a reasonable cost, the hospital turned to Mobiquity. Working together, a strategy was created to improve access to care while addressing the long wait time for appointments with the goal to provide patients the care they need at the time they need it.
The client wanted to create an efficient, secure solution that would provide high quality care, reduce wait times and lower the cost of a dermatology consultation. They wanted a solution that would provide parents with the flexibility to interact with their child’s physician remotely if an office appointment was not available for that day or in the near future. As a premier pediatric care provider in the greater region, the hospital wanted to ensure no patient would be turned away and every patient could get the care they deserved.
Mobiquity worked with this client to create a telemedicine application that would allow parents to securely communicate with their physician using technology that was both familiar and convenient – the smartphone.
Mobiquity created a telemedicine app that enabled patients and doctors to receive and provide care for children with dermatology issues.
Parents and Patients
The telemedicine app allows parents to securely login and by answering a series of questions that provide their physician with a description of their child’s skin condition, similar to an in-office consultation. They also are guided through a step-by-step process to capture images of the condition which the application forwards to the physician’s office for diagnosis. Patients and parents are also able to send messages back and forth with their care providers to get the evaluation they need in order to start treatment.
Doctors and Hospital Staff
On the provider side, doctors and hospital staff receive notifications about patient conditions, allowing them to ask questions, get clarification, or request additional photos. In the app, care providers can track all of their cases, prioritize them, and review and identify next steps. This includes providing treatment options, scheduling follow-up appointments or referrals, sending a prescription to a pharmacy, and tracking patient progress.
It’s also important to note that Mobiquity’s security experts worked with the hospital to ensure that all photos and messages would be encrypted and safely sent to the doctors without risking patient privacy. As in any hospital or medical facility, security and privacy are of utmost importance to protect patients, and this mobile app was no exception.
In a study with a few hundred patients, Mobiquity helped the hospital’s dermatology unit reduce wait times from months to a couple of hours. Beyond that, the quality and accuracy of care was also sustained, showing that nearly 90% of diagnoses were accurate and produced the same outcome as an in-office visit.
In addition, the telemedicine app received a 93% approval rate from participants, indicating that they would use the app again for future questions, issues, and communication with their care providers. And doctors agreed – they felt confident making diagnoses using the photos sent by patients. Telemedicine applications allow healthcare providers to extend their reach with respect to patient care, providing high quality, less expense, and greater access to their patients and their families.