Tuesday, June 30, 2020

 

Ms Deirdre Jones, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Roscommon University Hospital using photo triage to identify patients who require an urgent consultation.

The Plastic Surgery Department at Roscommon University Hospital has been using a ‘photo triage’ process to identify patients who require an urgent consultation, to replace face-to-face consultations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Deidre Jones, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon said: “When our ‘See and Treat’ skin cancer clinics were suspended due to Covid-19, we set up a new pathway to identify patients who required urgent consultation.

 

“By telephoning patients directly, asking them a few key questions and requesting that they email a good quality photograph of their skin lesion to a secure and dedicated email address, we have been able to photo triage over 400 patients in the past few months.

 

“The patients can either take the photo themselves or ask a family member to take the photo for them. We have been surprised at how many patients – of all ages – have been able to send us high-quality photos,” she said.

Members of the Plastic Surgery Department at Roscommon University Hospital, from lef:: Ms Deirdre Jones, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon; Imelda Wynne, Clerical Officer; Caroline Webb, Acting Clinical Nurse Manager 2; Laura Beirne, Clerical Officer; Rachel O’Donnell, Clerical Officer; Bernie McTeague, Senior Staff Nurse; Bernie Finneran, Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Plastic Surgery and Skin Cancer; and Amanda O’Halloran, Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Plastic Surgery.

 

Using this process the team were able to identify patients who needed to be brought in for a procedure which helped to reduce the movement of patients into the hospital.

 

“As we start to re-introduce services to the hospital, it will no longer be possible to have large numbers of patients attending our clinics due to social distancing and infection control requirements. We plan to continue with and refine the photo triage process because it is so convenient for patients and will allow us to continue to prioritise those who need to be seen urgently first,” said Ms Jones.

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