Improving Primary Care Access to Respirologists Using E-Consults

 The Champlain Building Access to Specialists through E-Consultation (BASETM), a secure online platform that allows primary care providers to ask a clinical questions to different specialty groups with the expectation the specialists will respond within 7 days, conducted respirology e-consultations from January 2017 through December 2018. Each e-consultation was categorized by types of questions asked by the provider and by the clinical content of the referral. Specialists’ response times and time spent answering the clinical question were analyzed. Referring providers’ close-out surveys were reviewed to assess the impact of the respirology e-consult service on traditional referral rates and clinical course of action. Of the 268 respirology cases in this study, the median response time by specialists was 0.8 days, and the median time billed by specialists was 20 minutes (Leduc, Keely,, 2021). In 23% of cases, the PCP indicated they no longer needed to refer the patient elsewhere after receiving the e-consult advice. On the other hand, in 13% of cases, the PCP was not going to refer, but did after the e-consult, overall prompting referrals (Leduc, Keely,, 2021).

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