What is eConsult?
eConsult is a secure web-based tool that allows physician or nurse practitioner timely access to specialist advice for all patients and often eliminates the need for an in-person specialist visit.
- BASE™ Managed Specialty model:
- eConsults are sent to a group of specialists from across the province in a specific specialty and each case is assigned to a specific specialist by a case assigner.
- Over 110 specialties offered province-wide
- Direct to Specialist model:
- eConsults are sent to individual specialists/groups by searching in a directory.
By the Numbers
eConsults sent in Ontario in the last 12 months
Active Primary Care Providers*
* Sent/provided 3 eConsults in the last 6 months
Metrics as of November 2021
What are the benefits?
- 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.
- Provides timely access to non-urgent questions (average response time 2 days)
- Access to over 100 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
- Allows prompt, high quality communication with requesting providers
- Provides opportunities for knowledge sharing and increased capacity in primary care
- Offers liability protection through the permanent written record of advice provided
- Is an important part of restructuring care to improve equitable access for patients
Ontario eConsult has been created to enable timely and equitable access to specialist advice for all patients in Ontario. The program, with the support of the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, integrates two successful initiatives: BASE™ Managed Specialty model and the Ontario Telemedicine Network’s (OTN) Direct to Specialist model. The program includes 4 services:
- Ontario eConsult
- Champlain BASE™ regional service
Accessed primarily through the secure OTNhub (otnhub.ca), the program is led by the Ontario eConsult Centre of Excellence (eConsult COE), housed at The Ottawa Hospital in partnership with the Bruyère Research Institute.