Patients Prefer Online Portal To Receive Skin Biopsy Results Interview with:

Sophia Akhiyat
M.D. Candidate, Class of 2017
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
METEOR Fellowship What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Our study was inspired by one of Choudhry et al,1 in which patients’ preferences for skin biopsy result disclosure was surveyed at melanoma clinics affiliated with several academic institutions. We sought to broaden participant inclusion criteria by evaluating patients’ preferences at a general dermatology clinic at an academic center.

Our findings support that the highest ranked patient-preferred method for receiving skin biopsy results was through an online portal. Patients also reported that the most important factors when selecting a modality for communication were the amount of information given and time available to discuss results. We also observed a relationship between a younger patient age range and online portal experience as well as a preference for biopsy notification via online portal.

1Choudhry A, Hong J, Chong K, et al. Patients’ Preferences for Biopsy Result Notification in an Era of Electronic Messaging Methods. JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(5):513-521. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our findings highlight and support a new trend in patient preferences for receiving skin biopsy results, as patients previously reported an affinity to telephone calls or follow-up appointments with their physicians. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our study was conducted in a single academic tertiary referral center. The location of our academic center and surrounding metropolitan area may not be representative of smaller communities in the United States. Further research may look into patient preferences in different populations, including those in rural or inner city locations. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Optimizing physician-patient communication, including effective disclosure of biopsy results based on patient preference, is critical for patient satisfaction. We recommend that physicians encourage the option of patients using an online portal as a way to securely and rapidly access detailed skin biopsy reports, if available. Dermatologists should also inquire about individual patient preferences to customize communication methods on a case-by-case basis. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: JAMA

Akhiyat S, Eleryan MG, Durrani S, Mitchell CB. Effectively Disclosing Skin Biopsy Results. JAMA Dermatol.Published online December 07, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4349

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on December 8, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD