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Specialist Perspectives on Ontario Provincial Electronic Consultation Services.

Specialist Perspectives on Ontario Provincial Electronic Consultation Services.

Specialist Perspectives on Ontario Provincial Electronic Consultation Services.

Telemed J E Health. 2018 May 10;:

Authors: Keely E, Williams R, Epstein G, Afkham A, Liddy C

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Wait times to access specialist care remain a huge frustration for patients and providers. In Ontario, two electronic consultation (eConsult) services provide prompt, secure access to specialist advice: The Champlain Building Access to Specialists through eConsultation (BASE™) eConsult-managed service, and the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).
INTRODUCTION: To gain a broader understanding of specialists' perspectives providing eConsult services, we surveyed all specialists actively participating in either platform.
METHODS: A 34-item web questionnaire focused in four key areas (experience with the service, ideas for provincial expansion, recommendations for enhancements to the service, and specialist demographics) was sent to all specialists who had completed at least one eConsult on either service.
RESULTS: There was a 66% (114/172) response rate for BASE and a 47% (61/130) response rate for OTN. The most frequent motivations for participating in eConsult were innovative patient care (58% and 69%), opportunity to reduce wait times (45% and 54%), and opportunity to communicate directly with primary care providers (41% and 51%). Most specialists agreed that eConsult is feasible, results in improved communication between providers, and can be integrated into their clinical workflow without difficulty. Fifty-two percent of OTN specialists and 49% of BASE specialists agreed that they were appropriately compensated for answering eConsults.
DISCUSSION: Specialists participate in eConsult services to improve communication with primary care, provide innovative care, and reduce wait times.
CONCLUSIONS: As eConsult services expand across regions and provinces, the provider perspectives and experiences should be used to evaluate the benefits of eConsult and impact on provider satisfaction.

PMID: 29746210 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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