Primary Care Providers

Primary Care

What are the Benefits of Using eConsult?

  • Get specialist advice for your patient fast – on average within two days
  • Improves care coordination and collaboration between clinicians
  • 94% of your colleagues rate the value of eConsult as high/very high
  • Get high-quality advice on clinical questions (e.g. diagnosis, management, drug treatment).
  • Manage patient care at the family practice level where patient trust is often highest.

Did You Know You May Be Able to Bill for eConsults?

  • The service is available at no cost to the patient and the provider
  • Where applicable, family physicians can bill OHIP using the K738 fee code
  • Providers receiving a salary will not receive additional compensation for using eConsult
  • See the OMA quick reference guide “OHIP Payments for E-Consultation Services for Referring Physicians (K738)” for more information 

How Can I Integrate eConsult into My Workflow?

  • eConsult supports the use of delegates to remove the administrative burden from sending eConsults. Reach out to your Digital Health Support Team for more information. 
  • eConsult currently integrates with OSCAR – KAI and Accuro EMRs, please reach out for more information. 

How Can I Access Specialists? 

  • Do you know a specialist? Simply search their name under the “Specific Provider or Group” option to send your consult directly to them.
  • Don’t know who to send a consult to? Simply look for a specialty in the “BASE Managed Specialty” option, and your consult will be assigned to the next available specialist in that group.

Which Specialties Can I Send an eConsult to?

How do I register for eConsult?

FAQs

What is an eConsult?

An eConsult is an electronic communication between a primary care provider (PCP) and a specialist. The PCP sends a patient-specific medical question to the specialist via a secure, web-based platform. They can also attach pertinent documents, such as imaging, lab results, etc., if required. The specialist can then respond with timely advice without the need for a face-to-face consultation. For more information on how an eConsult work, visit the Ontario eConsult Service’s website

Who is involved?

The OTN provides the technological infrastructure for the service, leveraging the Champlain BASE Model. OntarioMD provides some primary care support and EMR integration. SEAMO administration oversees the registration and implementation process and provides reports to stakeholders.

Approximately 50% of primary care providers in the South East Region participate in the Ontario eConsult Service,  including the Queen’s Family Health Team with the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University. New primary care providers are strongly encouraged to become involved in the eConsult Service. 

Specialists with an interest in telemedicine, innovative patient care and a willingness to champion eConsults among their peers, are encouraged to speak to their department heads about joining the service. 

Over 90 specialties and sub-specialties are available through the service. PCPs can access both regional and provincial specialists through the BASE Managed Groups and Direct-to-Specialist options.
 

How has the Ontario eConsult Service impacted referrals?

Early data from Phase 1 of the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project (Feb. 1 to Jun. 15, 2017) showed a 40% reduction in the number of face-to-face consultations in cases where a referral was originally considered but was avoided.

In 18% of cases, a referral was not originally contemplated, and was still not needed, but an eConsult provided useful feedback and/or information.

In 32% of cases, a referral was initially contemplated, and was needed, but an eConsult likely led to a more effective specialist visit.

Why should I participate?

For Patients

  • Their care supported by a program that is fast, efficient, private, safe and cost-saving
  • All patients receive access to quality specialist advice quickly, wherever they live in Ontario
  • Only about one third of eConsults result in patients needing to see a specialist face- to-face. 
  • Evidence shows patient safety is improved through timely access to specialist advice.

For Physicians and Nurse Practitioners

 

  • Provides timely access to non-urgent questions (average response time 2 days)
  • Access to over 90 specialties & sub-specialties
  • Improved care coordination and collaboration between clinicians
  • Provides opportunities to enhance learning and manage patient cases at the family practice level, where patient trust is often highest

For Specialists

 

  • Allows prompt, high-quality communication with requesting providers 
  • Provides opportunities for knowledge sharing and increased capacity in primary care
  • Is an important part of restructuring care to improve equitable access for patients

It should also be noted that, unlike a “hallway consultation” between physicians, specialists participating in the service are compensated for providing an eConsult. This also allows for an audit trail of the consultation having occurred.
 

How will I be compensated?

Where applicable, family physicians can bill OHIP using the K738 fee code.
Providers receiving a salary will not receive additional compensation for using eConsult.

See the OMA quick reference guide “OHIP Payments for E-Consultation Services for Referring Physicians (K738)” for more information 
 

How long will it take to get a response to my eConsult?

eConsults must be answered by specialists within 7 days.

In the South East Region, the median response time for an eConsult is 1.6 days. 
 

How do I register for the Ontario eConsult Service?

You can sign up on our website.

Can Allied Healthcare colleagues participate?

A pilot project for Optometry is ongoing until March 2020. For information, please contact the SEAMO Digital Health Support Team

Otherwise, only physicians and nurse practitioners are currently able to participate in the service.
 

What is the Canadian Medical Protective Association's (CMPA) position on physicians using eConsults to provide patient care?

The Canadian Medical Protective Association has assessed the eConsult flow of care and determined that it provides an opportunity to improve efficiency, enhance care, improve access to specialists, and provides a clear audit trail of advice given to primary care providers by specialists.

Who is the most responsible physician (MRP) during an eConsult?

According to the Canadian Medical Protective Association, the primary care provider remains the MRP for the patient when using the eConsult service. When a specialist accepts an eConsult, it does not transfer the responsibility of care or decision-making to the specialist.

What are the technical requirements for using eConsult?

Full details of the technical requirements for the Ontario eConsult Service can be found on the OTN Hub

Which browsers are compatible with the OTN Hub?

The OTN Hub is cloud-based and is compatible with the following browsers:

  • Safari v8+
  • Firefox v38+
  • Google Chrome v42+

Full details of the technical requirements for the Ontario eConsult Service can be found on the OTN Hub.
 

Does eConsult connect directly with my EMR?

EMR-integrated eConsult is currently available through QHR Technologies’ Accuro® EMR and KAI Innovations’ OSCAR. OntarioMD is continues to work with EMR vendors to expand availability of EMR-integrated eConsult to more clinicians across Ontario. Access to eConsult through your EMR will depend on when your EMR vendor can incorporate the service into their EMR product. Until then, you can continue using eConsult through OTNhub.

Users of Accuro® EMR and OSCAR through KAI Innovations can request access to eConsult through their EMR now.  
 

Does eConsult work with Dragon Dictation?

Although the eConsult platform is not directly integrated with Dragon Dictation speech recognition software, if you have Dragon Dictation, you can create a draft consult note using Dragon Dictation and then copy and paste the output into the eConsult platform.

I forgot my ONE®ID username or password

USERNAME
Your ONE®ID username is firstname.lastname@oneid.on.ca

PASSWORD
Self-serve password reset is available for ONE®ID on the login screen by clicking on the "Forgot Password?" tab. If this does not resolve your issue, please contact the eHealth Ontario help desk at 1-866-250-1554.
 

I'm unable to submit or answer a query using the eConsult website

If you are experiencing technical issues with the eConsult platform, please contact the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) Customer Care centre at 1-866-454-6861. 

If your issue can't be resolved, please contact the Digital Health Support Team in the SEAMO Office at 613-533-6000 ext. 75963.

I can't connect to the eConsult website

If you are unable to connect to the eConsult website, first determine if the problem is with your browser, Wifi or Internet connection.

If you are attempting to connect from Queen's University, contact the IT Support Centre at 613-533-6666 (internal ext. 36666).

If you are attempting to connect from Kingston General Hospital or Hotel Dieu Hospital, contact the KGH IT Help Desk at 613-549-6666 ext. 4357 or by email.

If you are attempting to connect from home, please contact your Internet Service Provider.

If you are experiencing technical issues with the eConsult platform itself, please contact the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) Customer Care centre at 1-866-454-6861. 

If your issue can't be resolved, please contact the Digital Health Support Team in the SEAMO Office at 613-533-6000 ext. 75963.
 

I have a different technical problem

If you have a different technical problem related to the Ontario eConsult Service, please contact the Digital Health Support Team in the SEAMO Office at 613-533-6000 ext. 75963

Can eConsults be conducted from outside Ontario?

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has stated that physicians cannot submit or respond to eConsults while outside Ontario.

Can I send my eConsult request to a specific specialist?

Yes. To choose a specific specialist, click on Request Consult and pick the Specific Provider or Group option after logging in to the OTNhub eConsult platform. You can then search by name or specialty in the Recipients box.

Where do I find more information on the Ontario eConsult Service?

If you would like to participate in the Ontario eConsult Service, please download a registration form and email the completed version to the Digital Health Support Team. You can also visit the Ontario eConsult Service website for more information