eConsult for Ontario Physicians

I’m Thuy-Nga Pham, and I’m the physician of the
South East Toronto Family Health Team, and with that also the lead physician for the
East Toronto Health Clinic here in Toronto. When I first heard about the eConsult pilot
to be launched here in Toronto I thought, great idea. I’ve actually been very impressed. And we’ve timed it, how long it takes to use
my electronic medical record, and eConsult, and it actually works very smoothly. And the amazing thing is, on top of that,
in one particular example, I sent off a question on Friday afternoon, just before clinic closing. Making a demonstration in fact for one of
my colleagues, and showing and engaging her how to use the system, and five minutes later
I got an email on my iPhone that the consult was already answered and I could just look
it up. So, I thought that was very impressive. I certainly couldn’t do that in a regular
office setting. I think we timed it at one point, and we managed
to get it certainly done under 3 – 5 minutes, and the benefit being that I can actually
get an answer back much faster than if I waited around to get the actual consult. I’ve used eConsults particularly for cases where I knew right away either I couldn’t get an in-person consult. I have a couple of very complicated homebound patients who will not want to go in and leave their home, or cannot simply. I’ve also used it for a couple of office cases where I just wanted a quick answer, and patients didn’t want to have to wait around for months or weeks to get a specialist opinion to then just be told, ‘no everything your family doctor has been doing is right’ just add a little bit more. So patients actually find it enormously convenient since it really is patient-centered.

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