Teledermatology will be offered in all regions of Quebec starting July 4th

The news could well please the 80,000 or so people waiting for an appointment with a dermatologist in the province. These people have a problem, but their condition is not considered urgent, so they are put on a waiting list.

But for some of them, the situation could change very quickly. Thanks to the new Virtual Care Platform, which will be accessible to all general practitioners from July 4th, patients can receive an answer from a specialist in less than two weeks if they agree to use telemedicine.

Teledermatology is the most powerful tool to increase access to dermatologyendorsed the President of the Association of Medical Specialists Dermatologists of Quebec, Dr. Dominique Hanna, during a press conference.

Here’s how it works: if a family doctor determines that their patient has a problem that should be examined by a dermatologist, they can take photos and send them confidentially to specialists via the platform.

Within 7 to 14 days, the family doctor receives an answer from the specialist and can continue working with his patient without the patient having to wait several months for a personal appointment with the dermatologist.

The doctor and his patient can then jointly determine which steps are to be taken for the further course. But if no further steps are required, the patient is fixed in just a few days without worrying for weeks.

Dermatology, you know, is a pictorial specialty. Our diagnosis is based on visual analysis of the disease, recalled Dr. Hanna. It is therefore particularly suitable for telemedicine.

With the highly secure platform acquired by the Department of Health and Welfare, some well-targeted clinical information and some well-taken clinical photos, that is enough for dermatologists to make a diagnosis and suggest a course of action to the treating physician who has assessed the patient.

Advanced Process

The first teledermatology pilots started in March with a very limited number of doctors in three regions – Laval, Laurentides and Lanaudière. Montérégie and Outaouais were added in May.

About 60 cases have been processed and, based on the positive feedback from doctors, the various partners have agreed to extend access throughout the province.

When we started in March we voluntarily did a very gradual and very controlled deployment, so we reached out to a couple of GPs, a couple of dermatologists, to really test out all the technological cogs and other care pathways and make sure they correct the little gotchas , while you continue. The answer is excellentassured dr. Hanna.

And what is also very interesting is that although it is still a small number, it correlates exactly with all studies and publications in terms of numbers and percentages. »

A quote from dr Dominique Hanna, President of the Association of Specialist Dermatologists of Quebec

dr Hanna recalled that according to numerous studies, 50-75% of patients can be treated teledermatologically and do not need to be seen personally by a dermatologist.

potential for the future

Health and Social Care Minister Christian Dubé was particularly pleased to attend Monday’s announcement, which is part of his plan to implement the necessary changes in healthcare, which started this spring.

We have a beautiful application of several things. It is an element that is part of the health plan that improves the patient experience and where we deal with information technologiesunderlined Minister Dubé.

He also pointed out that one of his goals with his plan is to facilitate access to frontline resources, but that improving the efficiency relationship between GPs and specialists will only be positive for the patient.

In addition, the idea of ​​integrating additional services into the Virtual Care Platform is already emerging.

This is the beginning of a new era, if you will, because there will indeed be other initiativessaid dr Vincent Oliva, President of the Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec.

For the future, consultations that may be less useful will be prevented.

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