FAQs

General

What is an eConsult?

An eConsult is an electronic communication between a 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 works, click here.

General

Who is involved?

The OTN will provide the technological infrastructure for the pilot, leveraging the Champlain BASE Model, while OntarioMD, the project sponsor, will support the project. SEAMO administration will oversee the registration and implementation process and will provide reports to stakeholders.

The Queen’s Family Health Team from the Department of Family Medicine (DFM), along with primary care providers from across the Southeast LHIN, will serve as referrers for the project. Specialists from Kingston, Belleville and Brockville will answer eConsult requests.

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 pilot. 

The following 30 specialties and sub-specialties are participating in the project:

  • Allergy & Immunology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Chronic Pain Management 
  • Concussion
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Surgery
  • Genetics
  • Gynaecology Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Medical Oncology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obstetrics  & Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Respirology
  • Rheumatology
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Urology 

If your specialty does not appear on the above list, you are still encouraged to participate in the pilot, as SEAMO wants to provide the best care possible to patients in the SELHIN.

General

Why is SEAMO participating in the pilot project?

SEAMO strives to be at the forefront of innovative patient care. Similar projects in the province have shown that an eConsult service helps to enhance access to specialist care and advice, decrease wait times, promote communication between specialists and primary care providers, decrease the number of unnecessary referrals to specialists, and ensure patients are better prepared for specialist consultations by completing necessary testing (i.e. imaging, lab work) ahead of time.

General

How has the pilot impacted referrals so far?

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

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

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

Impact of eConsultation on Referrals

Physician Participation

Why should I participate?

The following reasons for participation were provided by physicians involved in similar projects in Ontario:

  • To reduce the amount of time patients have to wait for specialist advice
  • To reduce the number of unnecessary referrals received
  • To reduce the number of unnecessary face-to-face visits conducted
  • To reduce patient wait times for specialists
  • To help PCPs better prepare patients for specialist appointments by ensuring all necessary imaging, lab work, etc., is completed prior to the initial visit
  • To enhance communication between PCPs and specialists

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

Physician Participation

How will I be compensated?

PCPs participating in the project will bill OHIP using a K code and be paid at the rate identified in the Schedule of Benefits.

Specialists will receive $200 per hour, pro-rated in five-minute increments, rounded up to the nearest increment, for the first 20 minutes. Compensation for time over 20 minutes is calculated to the minute. If an eConsult lasts more than 20 minutes, the system will prompt the specialist for an explanation, in order to be compensated for the portion of the consult over 20 minutes. Time spent conducting eConsults is self-reported.

Departments are paid by SEAMO on a quarterly basis.

Physician Participation

How long does it take a specialist to complete an eConsult?

The length of time it takes to complete an eConsult depends on the complexity of the question from the PCP. However, in Phase 1 of the SEAMO pilot (Feb. 1 to Jun. 15, 2017), the average amount of time it took a specialist to respond to an eConsult was 16.5 minutes.

Physician Participation

How many eConsults do I have to complete?

There is no set number of eConsults each participant must complete. 

Physician Participation

How fast do I have to respond to a request for an eConsult?

eConsults must be answered by specialists within 7 days, however, the target response time for the pilot is 48 hours.

Registration

How do I register for the eConsult pilot project?

If you are a specialist wanting to participate in the program, please download a registration form and email the completed version to Lacey Cranston at lacey.cranston@queensu.ca.

If you are a primary care provider wanting to participate in the program, please contact Sergio Rotondi by phone: 416.623.1248 ext. 5381 or email: Sergio.Rotondi@ontariomd.com to complete your registration.

Registration

What if my specialty is not part of SEAMO?

If your specialty is not part of SEAMO, please contact the SEAMO Office by email or phone 613-533-6000 ext. 75963.

Registration

Can Allied Healthcare colleagues participate?

At this time, only physicians and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are funded to participate in the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project.

Registration

How do I withdraw if I've registered but no longer wish to participate?

You may withdraw from the SEAMO eConsult Program at any time by emailing or calling Lacey Cranston at 613-533-6000 ext. 75963.

Patient Care and Liability Considerations

What is the Canadian Medical Protective Association's 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 the PCPs by the specialists.

Patient Care and Liability Considerations

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

According to the Canadian Medical Protective Association, the PCP 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.

Patient Care and Liability Considerations

What are the liability considerations for specialists?

According to the Canadian Medical Protective Association, specialists are accountable for any advice given via eConsult for patient care, similar to any advice given to a PCP during a “hallway consultation”. Unlike a “hallway consultation”, however, an eConsult provides a clear audit trail, linking the specialist advice to the PCP, which is also document in the patient’s medical record.

Technical

What are the technical requirements for the project?

Full details of the technical requirements for the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project can be found here.

Technical

Which browsers are compatible with the OTN Hub?

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

  • Internet Explorer v9+
  • Safari v8+
  • Firefox v38+
  • Google Chrome v42+

Full details of the technical requirements for the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project can be found here.

Technical

Does eConsult connect directly with my EMR?

At this time, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) integration is outside the scope of the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project.

Technical

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.

Technical

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.

Technical

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. Please be sure to identify yourself as a participant of the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project.

If your issue can't be resolved, please contact Lacey Cranston in the SEAMO Office at 613-533-6000 ext. 75963.

Technical

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 kgh.helpdesk@kgh.kari.net.

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. Please be sure to identify yourself as a participant of the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project.

If your issue can't be resolved, please contact Lacey Cranston in the SEAMO Office at 613-533-6000 ext. 75963.

Technical

I have a different technical problem

If you have a different technical problem related to the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project, please contact Lacey Cranston in the SEAMO Office at 613-533-6000 ext. 75963.

Using the eConsult System

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.

Using the eConsult System

Can I send my eConsult request to a specific specialist?

During the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project, eConsult requests cannot be submitted to a specific specialist. Cases are submitted to a specialty group by a primary care provider, then assigned to a specialist participating in the pilot by a Case Assigner.

However, if you feel strongly that the referral should go to a specific specialist, please email or call the SEAMO Office at 613-533-6000 ext. 75963 to discuss your request.

Using the eConsult System

How do I indicate I'm unavailable for consults?

To let the Case Assigner know you are unavailable to receive eConsult requests, you can set an "out of office" notification on the OTN Hub. To do this, edit your eConsult service availability settings using these instructions.

More Information

Where do I find more information on the SEAMO eConsult Pilot Project?

If you would like to participate in the eConsult program, please download a registration form and email the completed version to Lacey Cranston at lacey.cranston@queensu.ca.

More Information

What is an eReferral?

Electronic referral (or eReferral) is the secure and seamless transfer of patient information from one point-of-care client management system into another, via an electronic, web-based platform.

Ocean eReferral simplifies the referral process by enhancing communication between clinicians, allowing primary care providers to quickly search, find, and send referrals electronically.

Ocean eReferral is integrated with select EMRs and standardized referral forms are updated automatically with pre-populated information from those EMRs.

Ocean eReferral is also coordinated with the patient, as patients can choose to receive email notifications with referral status and appointment details.  Patients can also confirm appointments directly from the email notification.

During stream 1, Ocean eReferral will be deployed across 5 LHINs (SELHIN, Champlain LHIN, Erie St Claire, NELHIN and WWLHIN), and will be in alignment with the MSK central intake and assessment models.

More Information

What is an eReferral?

Electronic referral (or eReferral) is the secure and seamless transfer of patient information from one point-of-care client management system into another, via an electronic, web-based platform.

Ocean eReferral simplifies the referral process by enhancing communication between clinicians, allowing primary care providers to quickly search, find, and send referrals electronically.

Ocean eReferral is integrated with select EMRs and standardized referral forms are updated automatically with pre-populated information from those EMRs.

Ocean eReferral is also coordinated with the patient, as patients can choose to receive email notifications with referral status and appointment details.  Patients can also confirm appointments directly from the email notification.

During stream 1, Ocean eReferral will be deployed across 5 LHINs (SELHIN, Champlain LHIN, Erie St Claire, NELHIN and WWLHIN), and will be in alignment with the MSK central intake and assessment models.

More Information

What is an eReferral?

Electronic referral (or eReferral) is the secure and seamless transfer of patient information from one point-of-care client management system into another, via an electronic, web-based platform.

Ocean eReferral simplifies the referral process by enhancing communication between clinicians, allowing primary care providers to quickly search, find, and send referrals electronically.

Ocean eReferral is integrated with select EMRs and standardized referral forms are updated automatically with pre-populated information from those EMRs.

Ocean eReferral is also coordinated with the patient, as patients can choose to receive email notifications with referral status and appointment details.  Patients can also confirm appointments directly from the email notification.

During stream 1, Ocean eReferral will be deployed across 5 LHINs (SELHIN, Champlain LHIN, Erie St Claire, NELHIN and WWLHIN), and will be in alignment with the MSK central intake and assessment models.