A study is underway to assess the impact of a dermatologist’s consultation for patients admitted to the hospital with cellulitis.
Started last October, the randomized controlled trial is comparing patients overseen by internal-medicine hospitalists alone to those who are also evaluated by a dermatologist soon after admission to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Daniela Kroshinsky, MD, MPH, the principal investigator, hypothesizes that hospital admission for cellulitis involving consultation with a dermatologist might decrease length of stay, readmission rates, incidence of pseudocellulitis, cost, and/or antibiotic usage.
“We did a similar study in the outpatient setting that demonstrated over 80 percent reduction in antibiotic use,” says Dr. Kroshinsky, the hospital’s director of pediatric dermatology and director of inpatient dermatology, education, and research.
Patients in the control group are instructed to follow hospitalists’ recommendations solely. This includes the timing and type of post-discharge appointments. As part of the standard of care, these patients can consult with a dermatologist if necessary or requested.
Patients randomized to the treatment group receive a consultation with a dermatologist, along with treatment recommendations. They also have a follow-up visit in a dermatology clinic after discharge. Both groups will be assessed for readmission or complications.