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Provider-to-provider communication in dermatology and implications of missing clinical information in skin biopsy requisition forms: a systematic review

Authors

  • Nneka I. Comfere MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
    2. Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
    3. Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
    • Correspondence

      Nneka I. Comfere, md

      Department of Dermatology

      Mayo Clinic

      200 First Street SW

      Rochester

      MN 55905

      USA

      E-mail: comfere.nneka@mayo.edu

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  • Olayemi Sokumbi MD,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • Victor M. Montori MD,

    1. Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
    2. Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • Annie LeBlanc PhD,

    1. Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
    2. Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • Larry J. Prokop MLS,

    1. Mayo Clinic Libraries, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • M. Hassan Murad MD,

    1. Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
    2. Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • Jon C. Tilburt MD

    1. Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
    2. Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • Funding: This study was supported in part by the Health Care Delivery Research Scholars Program, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Abstract

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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