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International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 321376, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/321376
Research Article

Do Telemedicine Wound Care Specialist Consults Meet the Needs of the Referring Physician? A Survey of Primary Care Providers

1Division of Plastic Surgery UCSD, Department of Surgery, University of California San Diego, 200 West Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92103-8890, USA
2Department of Plastic, Wound and Burn Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA

Received 12 November 2010; Revised 6 June 2011; Accepted 16 June 2011

Academic Editor: Velio Macellari

Copyright © 2011 Marek K. Dobke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The purpose of our study was to determine the factors that influence the use of telemedicine consultation by primary care physicians (PCPs) in the management of patients with problem wounds. A short questionnaire was administered to thirty-six PCPs who referred to our Wound Care Program within one year. Participants were asked to rate the importance of specific concerns and benefits regarding the role of wound care surgical specialist (WCSS) and the use of telemedicine consults prior to possible face-to-face consultation. Sixty percent of respondents felt comfortable with telemedicine consultation based on recommendations alone. The total number of patients referred for telemedicine consult was 230, and face-to-face consultation with a WCSS was offered and arranged for 30% of patients. The perception of shared decision making, streamlining patient care, and an opportunity for followup were all highly ranked benefits. The majority of PCPs (93%) agreed that telemedicine wound care consult is a useful tool in their practice and would continue to use the telemedicine consult service.