FAQ: Long-Term Care
Q: How can eConsult help in long-term care?
Provide timely access to non-urgent questions (average response time 2 days)
Improve care coordination and collaboration between clinicians
Provide opportunities to enhance learning and manage resident cases within the home
Avoid unnecessary resident transfers to acute care settings
Offer an innovative approach to the referral/consultation process
Address gaps in care for residents unable to travel for specialist visits
Lower costs and burdens on the home, residents and caregivers
Q: Do LTC providers use eConsult?
A: 742 residents living in LTC in Ontario had an eConsult sent on their behalf between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2019. eConsult has shown positive impacts in LTC, with providers and caregivers rating it highly and encouraging wide-spread adoption. Of the 407 cases submitted by providers in LTC on the Ontario eConsult Service, 80% were resolved without the need for the resident to attend a face-to-face visit with a specialist. Further, in 56% of cases, providers received advice for a new or additional course of action.
Q: Who are the specialists I will be getting advice from? Are they from my region?
A: Most specialists available through the Champlain eConsult BASE™ Service operate within the Champlain Region, but may also be located across the province. The Service offers access to over 150 specialties.
Q: Do I need to obtain the patient’s consent prior to requesting an eConsult?
A: No, patient consent is implied in an eConsult as this interaction remains within the circle of care; however, advising the patient of your use of this tool is good practice. To this end, we have created a prescription pad resource for informing patients when you have initiated an eConsult on their behalf.
Q: Who is the Most Responsible Provider (MRP) during an eConsult?
A: When using the eConsult service, the primary care provider remains the MRP for the resident (i.e., when a specialist accepts an eConsult, it does not transfer the responsibility of care or decision-making to the specialist as may be the case with a traditional referral).
Q: How can I embed eConsult into my current workflow?
A: eConsult’s flexibility allows for individual homes and providers to incorporate the service into their workflow in a manner that minimizes interruption. For instance, physicians and nurse practitioners may not be the ones completing the eConsults directly. Instead, they may choose to delegate this responsibility to an assistant, office administrator or referral clerk, who will generate the eConsult based on EMR data or the clinician’s notes.
Q: What about EMR Integration?
A: EMR Integrations are not available for the Champlain eConsult BASE™ service but can be leveraged through the OTNhub using the Ontario eConsult Service. For more information see the Ontario eServices Program.
Q: What is the Ontario eConsult Program?
A: The Ontario eConsult Program has been created to enable timely and equitable access to specialist advice for all patients in Ontario. The program integrates two successful initiatives: the BASE Managed Specialty model and the Ontario Telemedicine Network’s (OTN) Direct to Specialist model (enables the requesting provider to submit cases directly to individual specialists). The program includes four services: Champlain eConsult BASE™ regional service, Ontario eConsult service, Teledermatology and Teleophthalmology.
Q: What is the BASE Managed Specialty model?
A: This option enables the requesting provider to submit cases to a regional or provincial managed service, which is a group of specialists responding to eConsult cases for a given specialty or sub-specialty (e.g. cardiology). The case is then assigned based on specialist availability.