Surgical tracking system designed to streamline procedure logging for Dermatology residents.


an innovative, computer-based surgical tracking system designed to streamline procedure logging for Dermatology residents. This unique software program, created specifically for Dermatology, is the first to enable residents to log surgical data in a standardized system and generate reports in the current format required by the American Board of Dermatology.

We are fortunate to be learning and practicing Dermatology in the information age. Unfortunately, the greatest challenge is first sorting through all relevant information and then having it readily available when needed. Handheld computers, such as those running operating systems from Palm and Microsoft, are becoming increasingly common in the healthcare field for this purpose. They provide a simple, portable, convenient, and secure medium to quickly access large volumes of reference materials. Survey research done by a major technology/internet firm (Harris Interactive, August 2001) reports that upwards of 40% of physicians will be carrying handheld computers by the year 2004. A 2001 survey of Dermatology residents in training within US accredited training programs showed that between 85% are familiar with handheld computers or use them on a daily basis (Bhatia et al, unpublished data). Our own informal survey of medical students at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA showed that approximately 70% carry handheld computers and use them to reference medically-related educational material. In short, this truly is the “wave of the future” for distributing medical content.

Derm.md has designed and implemented, on the educational level, a surgical procedure log system for handheld computers. It simplifies and standardizes data entry, and also synchronizes the data with software on a local personal computer. Reports are automatically generated in the existing 2002 American Board of Dermatology Surgical Log format. Furthermore, data can be transmitted to a centralized database, where it can be analyzed by administrators such as program directors. Patient confidentiality is preserved by automatic removal of personal identifiers prior to transmission of data.

Since the initial development of this system, it has been refined and disseminated for use by Dermatology residents at several training institutions of various sizes. We propose to implement this on a national scale, which would allow for the collection of aggregate data to support the increasingly important role that Dermatologists play in performing surgical procedures.

Our work is the first reported and presented handheld computer-based solution for Dermatology, having received praise from such audiences as the Dermatology Teachers Exchange Group, members of the American Board of Dermatology, members of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and members of the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology. It is a low-cost, portable solution for changing documentation needs. Our wish is to have this technology adopted by these organizations, as well as any other organizations which require procedural logging and an efficient system for data submission as well as ease of data analysis.

Residents: Streamline Procedure Tracking

"the simple, innovative way to log and track dermatology surgeries"

Residents can log and access data on the web or on a PDA throughout the academic year. Procedure logging with OPIS is simple and efficient:
  • Use OPIS with any desktop computer with internet access.
  • Use OPIS on a PDA for portability and convenience.
  • Log surgical procedures promptly and keep the information readily available.
  • Dermatology-specific pull-down menus are designed to capture all surgical data required by residency programs.
  • Reports are generated in the accepted format of the American Board of Dermatology.
  • Procedure logs can be reviewed by your Program Director to monitor your progress.
  • You can assess your own progress in real time.
Program Directors: Track Progress Throughout The Year

"state-of-the-art convenience for residents and program directors"

OPIS is also a useful tool for assessing residents’ progress throughout the academic year. Incorporating this product into Dermatology programs enables program directors to simplify procedure logging for residents. Using OPIS, program directors will be able to:
  • Conveniently track and review individual logs or the logs of all their residents.
  • Verify surgical training of their residents.
  • Facilitate analysis of the surgical procedure training provided by their program.
Not only is OPIS the first of its kind, but it offers proven effectiveness. It was designed with feedback from members of the Dermatology Teachers Exchange Group, the American Board of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology. Moreover, it has been successfully tested in several Dermatology Residency Programs.