FAQ: For Ontario Health Teams
Q: What is eConsult?
A: An eConsult allows eConsult Senders (often Primary Care Providers) to send questions to eConsult Specialists through a secure online platform in place of traditional faxed or "hallway" consultations, significantly reducing the wait time for accessing specialist advice with a median specialist response time of 1.2 days. Questions can vary in complexity (e.g., about a drug dosage, sending a question with images of the patient for a virtual dermatology assessment) but may avoid the need to refer a patient to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment, 74% of eConsult cases are completed without the need for an in-person specialist visit. They also offer the possibility to request or complete additional testing or courses for treatment prior to any face-to-face specialist visits
Q: How does converting referrals to eConsults where appropriate help to reduce the wait time for patients to see a specialist?
A: Wait times for patients to see specialists can be mitigated by converting referrals to eConsults where appropriate because with a median response time of 1.2 days, eConsults offer faster access to specialist advice. eConsults also offer the possibility to request or complete additional testing or courses for treatment prior to any face-to-face specialist visits, making efficient use of wait times and speeding up the care process. eConsult also often avoids the need for a face-to-face referral at all, with 74% of eConsults being completed without requiring a face-to-face visit.
Q: How can eConsult help OHTs improve care for priority populations?
A: eConsult can help OHTs improve care for priority populations by streamlining the consultation process, improving patient access to specialty care, and through our continued research and evaluation activities. To learn more about the impact of eConsult on specific areas of specialty care, check out our infographics.