Dermatology Creates Dedicated Inpatient and E.D. Consult Service

DCS physicians Drs. Thomas D. Keenan and MD, PhD, Lauren Craddock, MD

The Department of Dermatology now has a team of dermatologists focused exclusively on providing hospital and emergency department (ED) consults during normal business hours. The Dermatology Consult Service (DCS), based at University Hospital, began this September under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Keenan, MD, PhD, with the specific aims of reducing consultation turnaround time and providing more cost-effective patient care.

Dr. Keenan expects that having dermatologists more readily available for consults will increase the accuracy of initial diagnoses and treatment plans. “Before the DCS, patients waiting for a dermatology consult might have been put on an initial treatment plan unsuited to their final diagnosis. Getting a consulting dermatologist to the bedside right away should mitigate this.”

Likewise, the presence of a dermatologist should improve patient experience and reduce costs. According to Keenan, “patients presenting to the ED with dermatological conditions often had to be sent to a dermatology clinic, meaning the patient needed at least two visits,” one to the ED and another to the clinic. “This was tedious for the patient, and expensive for both the patient and UW Health. Having the DCS in the hospital means a patient can be evaluated, diagnosed, and treated all in one location.”

Similar programs at other academic medical centers have produced demonstrably positive outcomes. “Early intervention by hospital-focused dermatologists at other institutions has been proven to reduce the number and length of admissions, and lower antibiotic and systemic steroid use, among other quality metrics,” Keenan explained.

Dr. Keenan is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Dermatology, with experience in and a focus on inpatient care and multi-disciplinary coordination. He is joined by Dr. Lauren Craddock, MD, Dr. Craddock completed a dual residency and is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Dermatology, with a special focus on the Rheumatology / Dermatology overlap, inpatient medicine, and Health IT.  Both physicians completed their residencies at University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

The DCS is based at University Hospital and provides in-person consults to Meriter Hospital and telederm consults to The American Center. Physicians and clinical staff who have questions regarding this service should contact Tom Keenan at or 608-287-2888.