UPMC On Topic Transcript
Joseph C. English, MD
Director of Teledermatology
What is teledermatology? It’s the use of digital images sent by a primary care provider of a patient’s skin problem through electronic medical records.
It enables a patient that doesn’t have access to a dermatologist to get their dermatologic care by a UPMC dermatologist.
The dermatologist receives the images and makes recommendations and sends that information back to the primary care physician, allowing the patient to have access to a dermatologist they did not have before.
Benefits of Teledermatology
The teledermatology program at UPMC allows patients access to dermatologists who are experts in the field of medical dermatology.
The benefits of teledermatology are three-fold:
- The first is access to a dermatologist that’s not readily available to patients in their local community.
- The second is rapid turnaround for diagnosis and management of their skin condition.
- And thirdly, it is cost-effective — patients do not have to take off time from work as much to travel to Pittsburgh, patients can get their care faster so they don’t have repetitive doctor visits for their condition, and for our inpatient teledermatology, it allows us often to have patients discharged quicker from the hospital.
Partnership With Providers
The teledermatology program allows a one-on-one relationship between the dermatologists and the primary care provider.
The primary care provider has access to us as if we were down the street from them at any time for any patient situation related to skin.
Investment in Technology
Teledermatology is an active member of telemedicine at UPMC. We strive to use the latest technologies to enhance patient care, and plan to make advances in smart phone use for tele-dermatology, as well as the use of digital dermoscopy to help with pigmented lesion management.
For more information, contact us at 412-864-2102.