Inpatient eDermatology (Teledermatology) Can Help Meet the Demand for Inpatient Skin Disease

Corey Georgesen, Sabrina A. Karim, Rebecca Liu, Autumn Moorhead, Louis D. Falo, Joseph C. English

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Currently, the number of inpatient dermatology providers cannot meet the overall burden of inpatient skin disease in the United States. Introduction: We seek to determine whether inpatient eDermatology can meet the need for inpatient skin disease in hospitals without access to a dermatology hospitalist. Methods: This retrospective cohort study reviewed inpatient eDermatology consults at the University of Pittsburgh eDermatology Consult Service between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2018. This included a diverse group of 1,320 patients admitted to 10 different community hospitals. Study data were reviewed for demographics, diagnostic impressions, time to discharge, and diagnostic discordance between referring and consultant physicians. Results: Forty percent of inpatient eDermatology consults were admitted with a primary dermatologic diagnosis. Referring diagnosis most commonly was rash not otherwise specified. eDermatology consulting impressions, conversely, were specific and varied. Ninety-one percent of patients received a consultant impression by the end of day, or within 8 hours. Overall, 89.3% of patients with a referring diagnosis of "cellulitis"were given a different diagnosis by the consultant. Discussion: Although this study lacked concordance data to compare the Inpatient eDermatologist with a live Inpatient Dermatologist, overall, eDermatology consultants were able to provide rapid consult recommendations that aided patient management. Conclusions: Inpatient eDermatology appears to be an effective medium to provide dermatologic care to patients at hospitals without a dermatology presence. This delivery of health care can help prevent misdiagnosis, unnecessary costs, and inappropriate systemic therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)872-878
Number of pages7
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • dermatology
  • e-health
  • teledermatology
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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