About Champlain eConsult BASE™
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Champlain eConsult BASE™
(Building Access to Specialists through eConsultation)
The Champlain eConsult BASE™ Service is a secure online platform that provides timely access to specialist advice by connecting primary care providers (PCPs) and specialists through asynchronous electronic consultations. The service offers patients more efficient, integrated, and coordinated care and seeks to facilitate smoother workflows and collaboration between clinicians. This clinician-led service supports ongoing quality improvement through continuous service evaluation and data analysis and continues to expand the scope of services and regional access.
Today, the Champlain eConsult BASE™ service serves the Champlain region through eConsult services as a part of the Ontario eConsult Program. Our eConsult service developed out of early collaboration with the Champlain LHIN, Winchester District Memorial Hospital, the Bruyère Research Institute, and The Ottawa Hospital, who all have and continue to provide essential support to infrastructure, service and evaluation.
How the service works
The PCP submits a question via a web-based portal, requiring minimal demographic information (specialist type, confirmation of patient consent, date of birth, and gender) and any additional information they may wish to attach (e.g., test results, images, EMR-generated letter). Next, the case is assigned by a Champlain LHIN Regional eConsult Specialist to a specialist physician based on availability. The specialist receives an email notification prompting them to access the case via a secure site. They are expected to provide an answer within one week, although the average response time is two days. They can reply to the question, request additional information or recommend a referral, as well as advise the PCP on other matters such as medication changes, additional tests or other critical actions to be completed before the referral visit. The PCP can then choose to ask for or submit additional information, and the dialogue can continue, or the PCP can close the case and upload the information into their EMR or patient chart.
Benefits of eConsult
Limitations in Access to Specialist Care
Limited access to specialist care remains a major barrier to health care in Canada.
Long wait times before specialist advice is received/implemented
Discovering during the visit that preliminary tests should have been ordered, requiring a second visit
Discovering during the visit that patient issues are better suited to a different type of specialist
Logistical challenges and expenses for the patients
The role of eConsult
The Champlain eConsult BASE™ Service helps patients and clinicians navigate potential barriers by providing faster access to specialist care, avoiding unnecessary in-person specialist visits, and facilitating faster, smoother communication between primary care providers and specialists.
BENEFITS FOR PATIENTS include faster and more equitable access to specialist care in over 150 specialties.
BENEFITS FOR SPECIALISTS include the facilitation of improved communication between Primary Care and Specialists.
BENEFITS FOR PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS include the provision of opportunities for continuing medical education and the capacity to request or complete additional testing or courses for treatment prior to any face-to-face specialist visits.
“I hate having to ask my son to take time off work for appointments and this eConsult saved me a visit. I think what you are doing with this service is very good for patients like me.”
“Strongly support this. The more consults that flow through this mechanism, the better.”
“This allows provision of timely and efficient care. The program should be markedly expanded.”
“This is a real winner. It should be tied into a provincial, comprehensive electronic health record.”
“It is the right thing to do for our patients.”
Primary Care Provider Testimonials
“Very thorough and exceptionally clear response, will guide my management of all diabetic patients with renal disease.”
“This is what an eConsult service should be – to help reduce health care services load by providing simple and sound advice.”
“Great service. Especially helpful with things that I think are not a problem but I'm not absolutely sure. Saves the patient and the system wasted time and money.”
“The eConsult process greatly increases my enjoyment of clinical practice as I am able to get immediate answers to questions and improve my knowledge daily.”
Champlain eConsult BASE™ Metrics from 2022
Number of eConsults Completed
The median response time, in days, from the moment the eConsult is sent to the time the first specialist response is given
The number of BASE managed specialty groups available for providing advice to primary care providers
The number of eConsult cases completed without the patient requiring a face-to-face specialist visit
2022's Top 5 Specialty Groups
by # of cases
Impact of eConsult on Primary Care Provider Course of Action
by % of 2022 cases
National Spread and Scale of eConsultation
Uses Alberta Netcare to offer nephrology advice
Launched October 2016
Launched April 2017
Uses eConsult BASE™ platform
Launched Fall 2017
Access to Champlain eConsult BASE™ specialists for remote PCPs
eConsult BASE™ model on Quebec platform
Launched July 2017
eConsult BASE™ on Orion Health platform
Launched in Spring 2018
eConsult BASE™ on Orion Health platform
Launched Spring 2018
Province-wide implementation underway with a blended service (eConsult BASE™ provincial umbrella with regional managed service and direct-to-specialist service)