Clinical Topics

High Satisfaction with Teledermatology at Atlanta VAMC

by U.S. Medicine

May 23, 2019

ATLANTA—Teledermatology is comparable to face-to-face visits in providing accurate diagnoses and effective treatments, but it is not clear how patients feel about teledermatology models that more directly convey provider recommendations to patients.

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported results of efforts to assess patient satisfaction with the teledermatology service at the Atlanta VAMC (AVAMC).1

Emory University-led researchers conducted a cross-sectional, phone-based questionnaire study of 175 AVAMC teledermatology patients to investigate patient satisfaction. The first phase, involving 100 patients, compared teleconsultative and models, while the second phase, with 75 patients, compared those who received one of three possible consult outcomes: (1) reassurance, (2) appointment for biopsy or (3) appointment for face-to-face evaluation.

Researchers reported no statistically significant differences in satisfaction between patients who were seen with the telemedicine and teleconsultative models. “Patients who received appointments for face-to-face evaluation or biopsy were more satisfied than patients who received reassurance only,” study authors concluded. “Both phases were remarkable for high patient satisfaction among all cohorts.”

The researchers cautioned that the study was performed at a single VA medical center and is vulnerable to both nonresponse bias and recall bias, but added, “Overall, patients are satisfied with teledermatology services at the AVAMC. Strong partnership with referring primary care providers and clear delineation of responsibilities is vital to the teledermatology process.”

Baranowski MLH, Balakrishnan V, Chen SC. Patient Satisfaction with the Veteran’s Administration Teledermatology Service. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Jan 28. pii: S0190-9622(19)30143-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.01.036. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30703451.

Related Articles

HIV Patients Had Lower PC Incidence in VA Study

NEW YORK—Non-AIDS defining cancers are increasingly important contributors to health outcomes for aging persons with HIV (PWH), according to a recent conference presentation which also pointed out that, although prostate cancer is prevalent in aging... View Article

VA Study Finds No Link Between ADT, Dementia

LA JOLLA, CA—Research has been conflicting on whether androgen deprivation therapy is related to dementia. A research letter in JAMA Oncology pointed out that two studies reported a strong statistically significant association between ADT and... View Article

U.S. Medicine Recommends

More From dermatology


IBD Treatment Can Increase Squamous Cell Cancer Risk

PHILADELPHIA—Treatment with thiopurines is associated with an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, according to a new study. Researchers from the Corporal Michel J. Crescenz VAMC... View Article


Erectile Dysfunction Drugs and Skin Cancer in Veterans

LEXINGTON, KY—Is there a relationship between phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor drugs, prescribed for erectile dysfunction, and skin cancers? A large-scale study of veterans sought to determine that. A retrospective review using the VAs Informatics and Computing... View Article


Living With a Mystery Disease: One Woman’s Story

At 31, Susan Thornton developed an itchy rash around her waist.


Soft Tissue Infections in Military Trainees

Military trainees are at high risk for skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs) but, while Staphylococcus aureus is associated with purulent SSTI, it is unclear to what degree this pathogen causes nonpurulent cellulitis.


Types of Skin Lesions Referred by PCPs at VA

MINNEAPOLIS—Skin lesions sent to dermatology by primary care physicians (PCPs) represent a significant proportion of VA healthcare visits, according to a new study.

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up