This article highlights the use of a mobile e-consult platform initiated by the  Centre of Addiction Medicine in India, in light of the need for substance use services during the COVID-19 lockdown. The mobile e-consult platform was found to be a promising method to serve patients with substance use disorders, as it enabled providers to easily transmit cases and queries to specialists. Specialists received…

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The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a Pain E-Consult Program (PEP), a multidisciplinary telementoring service based on the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model to reduce opioid use in the outpatient setting. A PEP was associated with greater reductions in morphine milligram equivalent (MME)/day compared with usual care despite similar rates…

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This study aims to determine which psychiatric diagnoses are most commonly used for e-consults  inquiries, what types of questions are being asked by primary care providers to psychiatrists via e-consults, and what questions and which diagnoses result in a recommendation for in-person evaluations by psychiatrists. The study found that certain diagnoses and question types appear to influence…

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A recently published paper in the Journal of Pediatric Dermatology assessed electronic health records of pediatric patients referred through e-Consults at the Massachusetts General Hospital from 1/13/2020 to 7/17/2020 and reviewed confidential surveys taken by pediatricians and parents to assess receptiveness. The results of the study support the use of e-consult for pediatric dermatology and indicate that…

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A new study explores he demand for neurology services at Geisinger, which exceeds the current clinical capacity. The utility of Ask-a-Doc (AAD), an electronic medical record-based interface developed at Geisinger to facilitate communication between primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists, was implemented and assessed. It was found that AAD provides an interface between PCPs and…

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A manuscript published in the International Journal of Quality Health Care titled, “Improving Primary Care Access to Respirologists Using eConsult” describes the findings from a retrospective review of 26,679 respirology eConsults. The publication details the most common topics and the most common types of questions asked by PCPs. The analysis found that in 23% of…

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The recent retrospective cohort study, “Clinical Effectiveness of an Outpatient Multidisciplinary Chronic Pain Management Telementoring Service,” published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, demonstrates the effectiveness of e-consult in reducing opioid use. The pain e-consult program (PEP) used in the study is a multidisciplinary telementoring service based on the ECHO model. The findings indicate that…

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A recent study published in JAMA Health Forum analyzes 50,260 referral requests submitted during the year before and the year after e-consult implementation at 19 H+H specialty clinics in New York City. Researchers found that following e-consult implementation, 13% of referral requests were resolved electronically. Additionally, the percent of successfully scheduled in-person appointments increased 15.8%…

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A recent study illustrated how the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Digital Academy, Bangalore, with the collaboration of Project ECHO worked throughout the pandemic to develop capacity for substance abuse disorder (SUD) management through telehealth, training over six thousand five hundred health care providers. The Centre of Addiction Medicine, NIMHANS initiated an…

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In this study of patients referred to pediatric cardiology, endocrinology or pulmonology at a federally qualified health center, the use of e-consults combined with evidence-based referral guidelines provided a useful tool to help front line pediatric primary care providers manage complex problems and identify those not needing to see a specialist in person. As a result, twenty-three…

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The use of e-consult has emerged as a useful tool for primary care providers (PCPs) to quickly obtain non-urgent, patient-specific, expert advice from specialists. The COVID-19 pandemic forced health systems to rapidly implement and scale telehealth alternatives to in-person care to prevent exposure to the contagious respiratory virus. A recent study from Massachusetts General Hospital…

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In a focus on “age-friendly health”, Terry Fulmer et al note that our health care system is unprepared to care for its growing population of older adults, and that new approaches must be considered, including telehealth modalities offering education, such as e-consult. Dr. Fulmer joined us for our March 2021 E-Consult workgroup webinar. Recommendations Include:…

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An observational cohort study published in the American Journal of Managed care examined administrative data of all veterans who received an e-consult across 41 specialties and 1269 VHA medical centers and clinical sites from 2012 to 2018. The authors found that the number of e-Consults increased by 309% for all specialties by 2018. It was found that…

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Researchers at Ohio State University performed a cross-sectional evaluation on all ambulatory dermatology referrals and eConsults over a 25-month period. The study reports that eConsults served more nonwhite patients and Medicaid enrollees compared to ambulatory referrals. Additionally, ambulatory referral patients were significantly less likely to attend their scheduled appointments compared with eConsult patients. Based on these results, the study…

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Michelle Lee, MD, and Vinod Nambudiri, MD of Partners Healthcare, MA, recently published, Electronic Consultations for Safe and Equitable Coordination of Virtual Outpatient Specialty Care.   This article, published in the Journal of Applied Clinical Informatics, argues that eConsults can improve the transition of care between primary care and specialists. The authors cite previous clinical studies to highlight how eConsults can improve the relationship and communication between PCPs and specialists and improve PCP education, patient access…

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