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Your dermatology telehealth appointment – A five step guide

The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded new, integrated and innovative approaches to the way healthcare is delivered. Telehealth options have been part of the solution to ensure patients continue to access the care they need in a timely, safe and convenient way. For some areas of medicine, patients may have reservations about if they will get the same level of care. Empowering health consumers to continue to ask questions in the virtual environment is important to ensure they get the right healthcare for them.

Your dermatology telehealth appointment a five step guide

The Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) seeks to empower Australians to access specialist care when it is needed and is committed to informing the community about dermatologists and the conditions they treat. On World Skin Health Day in October 2020, the ACD launched a new guide Your dermatology telehealth appointment – A five step guide. The resource was designed to reassure patients that dermatology appointments by video or phone are a safe way to receive convenient and ongoing care and to support patients to prepare to get the most out of their appointment.

Integrating the theme of ‘It’s OK to ask’ and Choosing Wisely Australia ‘5 questions to ask your doctor or other health care provider’ in the five step guide provided a broader community message and the opportunity to engage with a range of key national stakeholders at the inception and throughout the campaign.

ACD’s Community Engagement Advisory Committee, NPS MedicineWise which facilitates Choosing Wisely Australia®, Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF), patient support groups, ACD’s fellows and trainees, and a small group of practice managers were among those to provide feedback on the content of the guide, and connect the team with patients and their stories and/or support promotion.

Enabling patients to ask questions enables them to get the best possible care. Reminding patients that it’s OK to ask questions was a key message in the five step guide. Partnering with Choosing Wisely Australia, the guide included Choosing Wisely Australia’s 5 Questions to ask. The Choosing Wisely 5 Questions were included next to a section where patients could write down their questions ahead of time as well as take notes during the consultation and document next steps.

The new guide has been promoted via social media by both the ACD, Choosing Wisely Australia and ACD’s broader network of stakeholders and patient support groups. Social media activity for World Skin Health Day saw a marked and positive increase of up to 60% across social media analytics (activity, reach and engagement) across ACD’s four platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) compared with the immediately preceding period. Between 23 September and 20 October, there were 250-300 external visitors to the World Skin Health Day webpage, with 99 views/downloads of the telehealth guide via the website. Social media activity was complemented by traditional media outreach with the ACD media release reinforcing the message that it’s OK to ask questions.

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The Health Resource Stewardship for Clinical educators contains educational material about the Choosing Wisely initiative for use in universities, hospitals and health professional colleges

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5 Questions

5 questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider to make sure you end up with the right amount of care.

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