Identifying quality improvement opportunities in a vulvar dermatology clinic

Introduction: Vulvar concerns are a common reason for women to visit a health care provider and for specialist care referral. Based on review of the literature, further research on how to optimize efficiency, patient centered care, and delivery of physician education in vulvar dermatology is needed. We aim to review our local vulvar dermatology clinic patient data to identify quality improvement opportunities to further meet the needs of our patients and referring physicians. Methods: A retrospective chart review of 187 new consultations in the vulvar dermatology clinic from May 2019 to May 2020 was completed. Demographic, referral, and clinic visit information was gathered and analyzed. Results: The gaps identified were that patients used self-remedies while awaiting appointment and could be treated by the referring physicians, considering wait time and travel distance to first appointment. Documentation of sexual function and quality of life was sparse. Further, referring physicians’ clinical descriptions were often vague, which may impact referral triage. Conclusions: We identified several quality improvement opportunities focusing on patient and physician education, use of telemedicine, and a focus on quality of life documentation. Next steps will involve further development, implementation, and evaluation of the identified interventions.