Published: 2017-05-22

Inpatient dermatological referrals in a tertiary care hospital

Dayanand R. Raikar, Nagendra S. Manthale, Shrinivas R. Raikar


Background: It is not surprising that patients hospitalized on nondermatology inpatient services are frequently found to have skin problems and present as a source of confusion for their admitting physicians. Aims and Objective: To analyse the reasons for dermatology referrals and its frequency, departments sending the referral and the impact on health care management.

Methods: We conducted a study on 464 patient referrals over a 4‑year period. The demographic details, specialties requesting consultation, cause of referral, and dermatological advice have been recorded and analyzed.

Results: Unspecified “skin rash” was the most common dermatologic condition for which skin referral was sought. The final diagnoses made by dermatologists revealed infections as most common skin disorder. Almost 48% of the patients referred as “skin rash” were diagnosed to be suffering from infectious disorders. The referring doctors could provide an accurate dermatological diagnosis only in 32% of cases.

Conclusions: Most of the nondermatologists fail to diagnose common skin disorders. This reveals need for more trained dermatologists to combat this problem and more extensive dermatological training for the medical students.


Referrals, Dermatology care, Health care

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