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J Telemed Telecare. 1998;4(1):36-40.

Patient satisfaction with realtime teledermatology in Northern Ireland.

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Institute of Telemedicine and Telecare, Queen's University, Belfast, UK.


Teledermatology consultations were organized between two health centers and two hospitals in Northern Ireland using low-cost videoconferencing equipment. A prospective study of patient satisfaction was carried out. Following each teleconsultation, patients were asked to complete a questionnaire assessing their satisfaction with the service. Over 22 months, 334 patients were seen by a dermatologist over the video-link, and 292 patients (87%) completed the 16-item questionnaire. Patients reported universal satisfaction with the technical aspects of teledermatology. The quality of both the audio and the display was highly acceptable to patients. Personal experiences of the teledermatology consultation were also favourable: 85% felt comfortable using the video-link. The benefits of teledermatology were generally recognized: 88% of patients thought that a teleconsultation could save time. Patients found the teledermatology consultation to be as acceptable as the conventional dermatology consultation. These findings suggest overall patient satisfaction with realtime teledermatology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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