Primary care pediatricians who utilized an educational program and an electronic medical record ordering tool at the same time were more likely to follow clinical guidelines on acne, according to findings presented at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting.
“Practice gaps exist between dermatologists and pediatricians for treating acne,” Jenna F. Borok, MAS, of the department of dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, told Healio Family Medicine.
Borok and colleagues surveyed 116 primary care pediatricians for their mindsets toward acne care. Clinicians then attended an educational session on acne treatment guidelines and began using a tool that developed a treatment plan based on the severity of a patient’s acne and selected appropriate prescriptions. The pediatricians were surveyed again 3 months after the program was implemented.
Researchers found that the number of visits coded as acne went from 1,078 to 1,269; the number of dermatology referrals went down 26.3%; and retinoids were prescribed at a significantly higher rate than clindamycin. In addition, 75% of primary care pediatricians surveyed said acne care management resulted in “minimal or no extra work.”
Borok outlined multiple ways the medical community and patients can benefit from utilizing the techniques described in their study.
“The study showed improvement in care by increasing the knowledge base of pediatricians and allowed them to practice state-of-the-art acne management, optimally consistent with the guidelines,” she said in the interview.
“The value of this intervention can [also] be estimated based on the decreased number of specialty consultations and increased acne care visits being delivered at the primary care level. This leads to decreased cost to the system by saving money on a consult with a specialty provider, decreased cost to the patient as well as decreased time lost from school and work for an extra visit to specialty care,” Borok continued. “The decrease in acne referrals also potentially improves access to a dermatology specialist for patients with more critical needs that might not be effectively managed in primary care.” – by Janel Miller
Borok, JF, et al. “Transforming acne care among pediatric primary care providers.” Presented at: American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting; Feb. 16-20, 2018; San Diego.
Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.