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Dermatology Online Journal

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Dermatology consultations in a tertiary care hospital: A retrospective study of 243 cases


Background: The practice of dermatology remains mainly outpatient, although dermatologic consultations often have a large impact on inpatient care.

Objective: To analyze the reasons for dermatologic consultation and the impact of dermatologic evaluation at a major teaching hospital.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of 243 consecutive dermatologic consultations from primary ward teams between July 2012, and August 2013.

Results: Sixty-seven percent of the dermatologic consults were requested by the internal medicine, intensive care units, and hematology/oncology departments. Common skin conditions accounted for a large majority of consultations including: infectious (24.0%), drug-related (22.3%), and inflammatory skin conditions (21.0%). Most consultations required only one visit for resolution (60.9%). The primary team submitted a correct dermatologic diagnosis in 48.9% of cases. Dermatology consultation resulted in a change in or addition to treatment in 72.4% of patients.

Limitations: Our analysis was limited by the data capture of the consulting physicians and the reliability of the patient historian.

Conclusions: Our results revealed that common dermatoses account for a majority of dermatologic consultations. Modern ward teams continue to struggle with promptly recognizing and appropriately managing common skin conditions. Further training of ward physicians on common dermatologic conditions will improve recognition and treatment of skin conditions in hospitalized patients.

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