Provider-to-provider communication in dermatology and implications of missing clinical information in skin biopsy requisition forms: a systematic review
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BACKGROUND: Various components of the skin biopsy requisition form (SBRF) may contribute to accurate dermatopathologic interpretation. METHODS: A search of electronic databases, including those of Ovid MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Scopus, was conducted from inception to October 2011. Two authors independently screened all articles for eligibility. Inclusion criteria required material to represent original studies on skin biopsy and pathology requisition forms. Data abstracted from each article that met the inclusion criteria included details of the study characteristics, including the study location, type of pathology practice, specimen type, type of dermatoses, medical specialty of the requesting provider, suggested clinical components, and format of the SBRF. RESULTS: Of 32 titles and abstracts reviewed, seven articles were included. From these, we determined that dermatologists, general practitioners and surgeons completed SBRFs. Commonly included components were patient demographics and requesting clinician characteristics. Clinical information and differential diagnosis were provided in 4% (two of 48 surgeons) to 36% (18 of 50 dermatologists) of requisitions. Most SBRFs did not include information on specimen type, clinical morphology, photographs or clinical history. CONCLUSIONS: The limited medical literature demonstrates variation in the content of SBRFs across clinicians and practices, and suggests an important target for improvement in the quality of communication and dermatologic care by requesting clinicians and pathologists.
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