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Seven Referral Tips For Rheumatologists

Update Date: Nov 21, 2014 09:31 AM EST

Dermatologists have presented seven tips for rheumatologists to improve their collaboration in a recently published article. 

The article noted that dermatologists often diagnose and treat patients with rheumatology conditions and discussed the crossover between rheumatology and dermatology. 

According to the article, the crossover reaches into three main areas: systematic rheumatic disease with major skin manifestations; inflammatory joint disease; and infections that present with a rash that is a complication from a disordered immune system of the rheumatic disease or a due to the immunosuppressant medication, the press release said.

Seven tips presented in the article are: 

 Aim for collaborative care and education when possible

Find a dermatologist who enjoys complicated cases for referrals

Don't overuse oral steroids in patients with psoriasis

Become comfortable prescribing topical steroids

Refer to dermatologists when patients need more time to address their skin treatment

Be thoughtful with referrals (e.g., considering the wait time to see a dermatologist)

Use technology (e.g., electronic health records) for sharing photos of skin manifestations

"There's no reluctance to think about each other. It's always nice to keep the lines of communication open," rheumatologist Kelley Weselman, M.D., from the WellStar Medical Group in Smyma, Ga., said in a statement.

The article was published in the journal The Rheumatologist

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