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Electronic consultation impact from the primary care clinician perspective: Outcomes from a national sample.

Electronic consultation impact from the primary care clinician perspective: Outcomes from a national sample.

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Electronic consultation impact from the primary care clinician perspective: Outcomes from a national sample.

J Telemed Telecare. 2018 Jan 01;:1357633X18784416

Authors: Olayiwola JN, Potapov A, Gordon A, Jurado J, Magana C, Knox M, Tuot D

Abstract
Introduction Electronic consultations (eConsults) provide asynchronous, store-and-forward communication between primary care clinicians (PCCs) and specialists using web-based platforms, electronic health records or mobile applications. eConsults have demonstrated benefits in many areas of the Quadruple Aim, including educational value for PCCs. In this study, we explored the connection between eConsults and the Quadruple Aim using a unique national dataset of PCC-reported eConsult outcomes. Methods We conducted a retrospective study analysing registry data from the RubiconMD electronic consultation platform used by PCCs in 34 US states. We analysed PCC-reported outcomes from eConsults that took place between March 2017 and January 2018. PCCs were asked to select one or more of the following options after each eConsult: improved care plan, educational, avoided unnecessary diagnostics/procedures, avoided referral altogether or to wrong specialty, or no effect. Results PCCs reported an outcome for 3872 eConsults. eConsults for dermatology, endocrinology, and haematology-oncology were most common. Over one in four PCCs reported that the eConsult avoided a referral altogether or to the wrong specialty (26.3%) and avoided unnecessary diagnostics/procedures (26.1%). In 75% of eConsults, PCCs reported an improved care plan. Fifty percent reported that the eConsult was educational. Discussion PCCs in diverse practice settings reported substantial benefits from eConsults. In over half of eConsults, PCCs reported that the eConsult avoided unnecessary diagnostics/procedures, avoided a referral altogether or avoided a referral to the wrong specialty. Findings suggest that eConsults demonstrate important educational benefits, but may also influence PCC decision-making in a way that yields tremendous cost-saving potential and improved patient experience.

PMID: 29991315 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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