Pilot project using photos to triage skin cancer at Sligo University Hospital

Leitrim Observer reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer reporter

Email:

editor@leitrimobserver.ie

Pilot project using photos to triage skin cancer at Sligo University Hospital

Luke Colleran, GP Trainee and Dr Emma Tierney, Dermatology SpR at Sligo University Hospital where a pilot project, to allow GPs to send photos of suspected melanomas when making referrals, is underway

Today Sligo University Hospital, along with the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), has commenced a pilot project to allow GPs to send photos when making referrals to the hospital.

GPs will be able to photograph a suspected melanoma and send images electronically by Healthlink, which is the electronic referral system used by GPs to make referrals to Cancer Services. All relevant patient information and history is included in the referral as well as a maximum of 3 photos per referral.

Selene Daly, Dermatology Nurse Specialist at Sligo University Hospital said, “Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer with over 1,000 cases diagnosed in Ireland every year. The chances of survival are greatly increased when melanoma is diagnosed and treated at the earliest stage of the disease.”

The pilot project is being led by Dr Dermot McKenna, Consultant Dermatologist at Sligo University Hospital. He said, “All GPs who refer patients to the Dermatology Department here in the hospital will be able to use this facility.

“It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and this is certainly true for suspected melanoma referrals. The aim of the pilot is to assess the quality, benefit and support to triage of photo attachments when referring patients with suspected melanoma and if this facility should be continued and extended to other hospitals.”

Grainne McCann, Hospital Manager Sligo University Hospital added, “I would like to thank the team in the Dermatology Department for all of the work they have put into this new pilot project. This latest collaboration with the NCCP demonstrates quality patient-centred care which will benefit both GPs and their patients.”