Evaluation of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Electronic Consultation Use in Primary Care

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 assessed COVID-19-associated changes in requests for e-consults before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and found that e-consult utilization increased compared to traditional ambulatory specialty appointments after the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration in Massachusetts.