Since beginning their eConsult service 18 months ago, Dr. Michael Yacob is pleased to say the vascular surgery group is seeing a significant decrease in referrals that normally get bounced back and forth via fax communication. “Primary care providers (PCPs) are quite good at identifying when something is a good eConsult topic and our quick turnover as a group has resulted in rapid communication between the specialist and the PCP without the need for fax or phone calls between busy offices. This has resulted in faster and more accurate communication between the vascular surgery specialists and the PCP,” he explains.
This efficiency in process is helping patients get seen by specialists in a more timely manner, Dr. Yacob says. “Since we are able to refine the communication process, we are able to better triage the cases that should be seen in clinic and which cases would benefit from written opinion alone. This has cut down on unnecessary clinic visits to our specialist offices, which may not be physically easy to attend for some patients living in the peripheral communities and those with mechanical issues; both of which are very common in the vascular surgery patient population.”
Dr. Yacob looks forward to continuing to work closely with PCPs to use eConsult to better assist patients and make the lives of the specialist and the PCP easier. “eConsult is appropriate for any situation that doesn’t necessarily warrant a full in-person vascular assessment. Our most common questions are regarding imaging findings on a CT or ultrasound. We have access to ConnectingOntario Clinical Viewer and have other means to collect imaging from the entire region. We can review patient imaging/results and give expert recommendations for cases that often don’t need referral,” he describes.
There are several common instances where a referral is sent to the vascular surgery office that can be answered using eConsult instead, Dr. Yacob says. “In our surrounding region, it is common for a community radiologist to end a vascular diagnostic imaging report with the comment ‘consider vascular surgery consultation’ and some PCPs refer to our practice based on this comment alone, even though the patient may not have issues attributable to the imaging finding. The eConsult service is ideal for reconciling any discrepancies between clinical features and imaging findings.”
In order to send an eConsult to the vascular surgery group (including Dr. Michael Yacob and Dr. David Zelt), please select ‘Vascular Surgery’ in the specialty drop down of the eConsult portal.