Excessive wait times are a significant barrier to appropriate care for many Ontarians. Technological solutions, however, can help address this issue.
SEAMO, in collaboration with the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), South East Local Health Integration Network (SELHIN), OntarioMD and the Champlain BASE Project Team embarked on a six-month eConsult pilot project in Kingston on Feb. 1, 2017, during which 411 eConsult requests were sent. Ultimately, 40% did not require a specialist visit, although a referral was originally contemplated.
The pilot was extended on Aug. 1, 2017, and will run until Mar. 31, 2018.
The goal of the pilot is to reduce wait times in Kingston by reducing the number of unnecessary referrals to specialists and to assist primary care providers (PCPs) in better preparing patients for specialist appointments.