Evaluation of the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program and the Visiting Optometrists Scheme - Final report volume 2

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Currently there are around 1,500 subscribers to the ACRRM Tele-Derm program. Subscribers include doctors, registrars and medical students amongst others. In order to register for the Tele-Derm program a user must be a member of ACRRM, a member organisation that subscribes to RRMEO or be a doctor that is eligible for MSOAP (i.e. not in a major city). As part of the budget DoHA provides funding to support subscription of eligible doctors to the Tele-Derm portal. Of the 1,500 subscribers to the service, approximately 300 are registered through the eligibility that MSOAP provides. Many participants access the program for educational purposes and do not submit any cases directly. Anecdotal evidence indicates that many doctors would like to submit cases, but due to time constraints or other barriers have not done so. However, once a doctor submits a case and become familiar with the process, they seem to subsequently submit cases consistently.

The program grew rapidly after its initial introduction, quickly attracting 500-600 members. By the 2005-06 financial year there were 20,000 hits to the site and over 150 cases submitted25. Currently, the website attracts between 4,500 and 7,000 hits per month (Table 26) and receives approximately one new case per day.

Table 26 – Tele-Derm web site hits

Oct-10
Nov-10
Dec-10
Jan-11
Feb-11
Mar-11
Apr-11
May-11
Jun-11
Jul-11
Aug-11
4842
6915
8151
4409
5760
6838
4948
5881
4462
6479
7237

25 Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine 2010, 'ACRRM Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program Annual Plan', Report to DoHA.