Otn.teledermSF - e-Health Conference

Reducing dermatology wait times to less than 5 days with Store


® eHealth

May 27, 2013


Who is OTN

What is Store Forward

Impact on wait times


Why is it working?

User feedback

Where are we going from here?

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About OTN

Veni – We came

Vidi – We saw

Video – We Video’d

Vaco…Store Forward

OTN is a not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Ontario


What is Otn.teledermSF



SF means Store Forward…move the information, not the patient

Whereas videoconferencing is real-time

(synchronous), store forward is asynchronous

The information is stored and then forwarded for action by the consultant at a later time


® is a OTN program that incorporates technology, workflow logic to allow the secure flow of information between referring doctors and dermatologists


How does it work?

The referring doctor, or their delegate, takes a digital photo of the patient’s skin lesion

Referring doc implements treatment with patient

Photo and pertinent patient information is sent to the dermatologist through OTN’s secure software/servers

Dermatologist returns a diagnosis and suggested treatment plan to the referrer


What is the need?

Access: 180 dermatologists in Ontario

Wait times: The further from a major centre the longer the wait times (anecdotal):

For example:

– 45 minutes from Toronto 3-4 months

– 1.5 hours from Toronto 6 months

– 4 hours from Toronto 8-12 months

– Even reports of 18+ months in some parts of northern


Time to treatment reduces costs


How the program was developed

Literature supports effectiveness of Store Forward

– Patient satisfaction is equivalent to face-to-face

– A study of nearly 1,500 shows improved clinical outcomes, with better diagnosis and disease management.

– Teledermatology, when applied to all dermatology referrals, has a probability of being cost saving to society.

Pilot 2009-2010

Operationalized 2011

Remuneration for derms

(Remuneration for referrers not until April 2012)









FY 2011-2012 FY 2012-2013



Currently, in FY 2013/14, 600+ consults/month…and growing


Growth Rate








Over 300% from FY2011/12


2011-2012 TOTAL 2012-2013 TOTAL

User stats

18 Ontario-based dermatologists

700+ referring physicians

1000+ “delegate” referring users (NPs, Nurses, etc.)

225+ Primary Care referring sites (FHTs, FHOs,

CHCs, etc.)

The list of dermatologists and referring users grows every week.


How is Otn.teledermSF affecting wait times?

On average wait times are less than 5 days

Current trending: Less than 3 days

Dermatologists are telling us they are not near capacity

Will add more derms as required

Derms welcome to join any time (referrers too!)

Otn.teledermSF is freeing up time for f-2-f appointments


What dermatologists are saying

“[Telederm] can free up some time in my clinic so the quick patients can be done through telemedicine.”

“I do find that I can better screen subjects to see who needs to be brought in sooner, or who needs a referral to surgery sooner rather than later. I saw a woman with melanoma a couple of weeks ago through Telederm and referred her directly to

Plastics - it was excised in a week. Wouldn't have happened on real clinic referral time .”

Dr. Melinda Gooderham, Dermatologist


Talk about setting expectations….

Recall that wait times for a face-to-face appointment can be more than 12 months

“…and I have to say that I’ve been waiting a long time to get responses back from the consultants. I know I used to get responses back as quickly as a couple of hours and now for some, 3-5 days.


Why is it working so well?

Delegate model allows for distributed workflow


Like using you iPad as a cutting board…

Work flow at some referring clinics: hybrid of

Otn.teledermSF and paper

Delegate handles Otn.teledermSF

Consult notes are printed and handed to the physician

Perhaps complete physician adoption requires full integration with



Adoption Strategies



Standardized photo kit

for you!


Dermatologists encourage adoption with their usual referrers


Supports: training, work flow, RMs, Service Desk

Continuous quality improvements


Benefits for dermatologists

OHIP Billable

Flexibility to provide diagnosis and treatment when and where convenient

Efficient & effective way to treat patients leading to decreased wait times


Benefits for referrers

Consults provided within 5 days on average

OHIP billable as an eReferral

Reduces “n” trials of “X” treatments

Timely referrals leading to improved patient outcomes

Increased collaboration with specialist = increased capacity

Potential to reduce costs through efficient referral process (vs. f2f)


Other User Benefits

OTN develops relationship with dermatologists – no need to search for available derms

Pan-provincial initiative

Collaboration with OneID

OTN Service desk




What referring docs are saying

I find Telederm incredibly useful, I have sent 3-4 patients so far and I received speedy advice within 2 days. It is an amazing service. I am very happy being able to use it.

Thanks for your help

Dr. Lili Mileva


What referring users are saying

We had less than 24 hour turn around with 2 of our uploaded files and they were to Dr. G.

[Our] doctors had a faxed copy of consultation report in less than 24 hours. That's amazing!

I set this up approximately 3 months ago and the MD's at my clinic are really impressed with the efficient manner in which the referrals are received and processed. The MD's are also satisfied with the recommendations from the specialists. I would highly recommend this program; it meets the needs of many clients. Regular wait times for a Dermatologist can be 8 mo to 1yr. We facilitate their assessment in less than a month.


I have found the OTN TeleDerm process to be a very quick and easy way of obtaining a specialist's opinion for our patients. The average response time is about 2 days, which is remarkable! The patients are very happy to have a diagnosis so quickly. In most of the cases the specialist recommended medication and it was beneficial to the patient to be able to start on the treatment in a timely fashion .

I got my first SF referral answered in less than 24 hrs!!

It’s amazing


I personally have had two consults now with Dr. W and have been thrilled with the results. One actually came back the same day I sent it. She lays out the differential diagnoses, advises if biopsy necessary to determine correct diagnosis, and then provides outline of therapeutic plan for each possible outcome. Clear as can be, and so helpful.

Patients are thrilled .


What dermatologists are saying

I must say that I enjoy doing these store forward consultations. I find that the focus is somewhat different than in-office consultations. I tend to give more useful basic information to the PCP, knowing that this physician will be taking active care of the patient in most cases, especially when located some distance from major centres.


eConsult fees

Referring docs can bill the referral as an eConsult

E-Consultation (Physician to Physician):

– This is a service where the referring Physician, in light of his/her professional knowledge of the patient, requests the opinion of another Physician. The “consultant Physician” is able to offer competent advice to provide an accurate opinion. Both the request and the opinion are sent electronically through the use of a secure server.

Billing Code:

– K738 Physician to Physician e-consultation (Referring



Challenges to the program

In polite conversation topics to avoid:

1. Religion

2. Politics

3. Sex

4. OHIP fees

Consult fees were $72 up to March 31 st 2013

As of April 1 st 2013 fees moved to $44

MoHLTC and OMA have been apprised of the concerns expressed over the reduced fees eReferral cannot be billed same day

Counter productive to the efficiency of Store



Potential Expansion

TeleWound care TelePsychiatry TeleDentistry

(in pilot now) (pilot starting summer 2013)



What are the steps to get


Contact OTN (info@otn.ca)

OTN will contact you

You will receive a password

The password gives you access to the online training materials/videos as well as to Otn.teledermSF itself

Once training is completed (about 45 minutes) you can start referring patients right away


It takes a village…

Manish Rughani

– Supervisor & Systems Administrator, Technical


Sev Derghazarian

– Telehealth Hardware/Software System Support

Specialist & Systems, Technical Operations

Joy Harris

– Provisioning Group, New Site

Matt Sherman

– Business Analyst, Service Optimization


Thank you!

Contact information

Stewart Stein

Manager Store Forward

Email: sstein@otn.ca


Phone: 416-446-4110 x4118






No annual fees

No set-up fees

No licensing costs

OTN is a not-for-profit funded by the

Government of Ontario


The Ontario Telemedicine Network

An independent not-for-profit corporation funded by the Government of Ontario

Members include 1,000 health care and education organizations

Delivery partners include:

– e-Health Ontario

– Keewaytinook Okamakanak


– Canada Health Infoway

Page 32


OTN: Available Everywhere

One of the world’s largest & most active TM networks

Programs & services delivered collaboratively at more than 1,600 sites (>3,000 systems) across


Page 33



Teledermatology Patient Satisfaction in the Pacific Northwest - Martha T. Hsueh, R.N., Kristin

Eastman, M.D., Lynne V. McFarland, Ph.D., Gregory J. Raugi, M.D., Ph.D., and Gayle E. Reiber,

M.P.H., Ph.D.

A cost minimisation analysis in teledermatology: model-based approach - Nina Eminović1*,

Marcel G Dijkgraaf2, Rosanne M Berghout1, Astrid H Prins3, Patrick JE Bindels4, Nicolette F de


Netherlands study shows dermatologists using telemedicine to provide efficient care at lower costs van der Heijden JP, de Keizer NF, Bos JD, Spuls PI, Witkamp L.

Teledermatology Operational Considerations, Challenges,and Benefits: The Referring

Providers’ Perspective - April W. Armstrong, M.D., M.P.H.,1 Mei W. Kwong, J.D.,2, Elizabeth P.

Chase, M.D.,1 Lynda Ledo, B.S.,1, Thomas S. Nesbitt, M.D., M.P.H.,3, and Sandra Louise Shewry,

M.P.H., M.S.W.2

Telemedicine boosting dermatology care CAROLYNE KRUPA http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/01/30/prsc0131.htm