Although teledermatology has been beneficial and cost-effective in some settings, many programmes have failed, not because of the technology but because teledermatology was implemented in isolation. A thorough understanding of an organization's business process and business model is crucial before teledermatology is begun. Unless teledermatology is integrated into the current business process and model, the likelihood of success is greatly reduced. Important steps therefore include: (1) understanding how the organization delivers care; (2) analysing the alternatives, including cost-benefit analysis; (3) obtaining organizational support; (4) formulating an execution plan; (5) training staff and monitoring the process. If implemented correctly in the appropriate setting, teledermatology can significantly improve access and quality of care, while reducing or containing costs.
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