More ways to deliver care to patients

eConsult icon

eConsult

The Ontario eConsult Program
The Ontario eConsult Program connects requesting providers to specialists, providing the opportunity to inform clinical decision making without sending the patient to see the specialist in person. Through a private and secure web portal, requesting providers can ask a specialist a clinical question about their patient and receive advice quickly and securely.

Two options to access specialist advice
Building on over a decade of experience with proven clinical services, the Ontario eConsult Program offers choice and flexibility with the following established services:

BASE (Building Access through Specialist eConsultation) Managed Specialty

This service enables requesting providers to send requests to a group of consultants in a given specialty or sub-specialty area. Requests are triaged to the closest regional managed specialty or a provincial managed specialty if a local one is unavailable.

Direct to Specialist

This service enables requesting providers to send requests directly to a specific provider or group.

Accessed primarily through the secure OTNhub, 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. Regional partners include Champlain BASE™ (Building Access to Specialists through eConsultation) and the South East Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO). Delivery partners are the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), OntarioMD, and eHealth Ontario, with the support of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Building on the success each of the services offered during the pilots, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care determined that eConsult would become a provincial program.

To access the Ontario eConsult Program, sign up for an OTNhub account.

For questions about the Ontario eConsult Program, please contact: eConsultCOE@toh.ca

 

About eConsult

eConsult specialties include:

Addiction Medicine Group

Allergy & Clinical Immunology Group

Anesthesiology Group

Breast Oncology Group

Cardiology Group

Concussion Group

Dermatology Group

Endocrinology Group

ENT Group

Epilepsy Neurology Group

Gastroenterology Group

General Pediatrics Group

General Surgery Group

Geriatric Psychiatry Group

Geriatrics Group

Gynecologic Oncology Group

Gynecology Group

Head & Neck Surgery Group

Hematology Group

Hepatology Group

HIV Group

Infectious Disease Group

Internal Medicine Group

Medical Oncology Group

Neonatal/Perinatal Pediatrics Group

Nephrology Group

Neurology Group

Neurosurgery Group

Obstetrics Group

Ophthalmology Group

Opioid Group

Orthopaedic Surgery Group

Orthopaedics Group

Pain Medicine Group

Pediatric Cardiology Group

Pediatric Gastroenterology Group

Pediatric Infectious Diseases Group

Pediatric Nephrology Group

Pediatric Neurology Group

Pediatric Psychiatry Group

Pediatric Rheumatology Group

Perinatal Psychiatry Group

Phys Med/Rehab Group

Plastic Surgery Group

Psychiatric Sleep Medicine Group

Psychiatry Group

Radiation Oncology Group

Respirology Group

Respirology Sleep Medicine Group

Rheumatology Group

Spinal Surgery Group

Thoracic Surgery Group

Urogynecology Group

Urology Group

Vascular Surgery Group

otn-econsult-how-it-works

 

Benefits of eConsult:

  • Timely access to specialists
  • Reduction of unnecessary in-person specialist referrals
  • Patient-centred care
  • Improved clinical decision making
  • Collaboration between clinicians
  • Secure communication between providers
  • Flexible options for seeking specialist advice
  • Efficiency in effectively managing patient care
  • Simple sign-up process

Services which are part of the Ontario eConsult Program are available at no cost to the patient and the provider. Where applicable, family physicians can bill OHIP for the consult request using the K738 fee code (Ontario Schedule of Benefits). Specialists are paid through an arrangement with OntarioMD.

eConsult for Ontario Physicians

eConsult connects referring physicians and nurse practitioners to specialists, providing the opportunity to inform clinical decision making without sending the patient to see the specialist in person. Video courtesy of OntarioMD.

“I use eConsult not only as a way to help my colleagues manage their patients, but also as an opportunity to provide education by sending relevant, complementary images or articles, for instance. This is a unique benefit to eConsult that cannot be achieved with any other medium. A strong online community of physicians, eager to teach and learn, is an ideal way to grow our collective pool of knowledge which can only result in the provision of better care for our patients.”

Dr. Evan Lewis

Pediatric Neurologist and Clinical Neurophysiologist, The Hospital for Sick Children and Kids Neurology Centre Toronto (KNCT) at Kindercare Pediatrics

Related Clinical Programs

As part of its suite of services offered through the OTNhub, OTN also offers three additional programs that offer specialist support:

Teledermatology

Many clinicians use OTN’s Teledermatology program to access dermatology consults in less than 5 days. The Teledermatology program is available to requesting providers at no cost.

Teleophthalmology

Timely, accessible retinal screening for patients with diabetes done in the community rather than via an in-person specialist visit, so eye disease is more likely to be discovered, and treated, prior to irreversible vision loss. The Teleophthalmology program is available to requesting providers at no cost.

Telepsychiatry

OTN enables access to care for more than 100,000 mental health and addiction patients annually. Telemedicine provides a welcome relief by providing timely access to care without the need for extensive travel.

Northern Health Travel Grant

When Northern Ontario patients need to travel for specialized medical care, it can represent a significant personal and economic burden. See how telemedicine can make a difference.

Learn more >>

eVisit icon

eVisit

Arrange real-time video visits with patients and peers. And choose the method that’s best for you: PC/Mac, mobile or Room-based.

3 ways to eVisit

On your PC or Mac

OTNconnect App on your iOS or Android device

Room-based systems in health organizations

Mount Sinai Perinatal Program

New mothers may experience psychiatric disorders that make it difficult to get to healthcare appointments while managing their pregnancy or keeping up with the demands of a newborn baby. See how Mount Sinai is leveraging virtual care to address this gap, provide greater access to care, and improve patient outcomes.

Clinical Programs

Telestroke

Telestroke is a 24/7 emergency telemedicine application that provides emergency physicians with immediate access to neurologists with expertise in stroke care who can support both the assessment and treatment of patients experiencing acute stroke.

Emergency (Teleburn, Virtual Critical Care, Teletrauma)

Telemedicine can be an effective way to bring specialized emergency care and timely treatment to patients in need. In addition to equalizing health care for Ontarians facing urgent or emergent health issues, telemedicine can provide an important communications channel during a pandemic or natural disaster, reduce costs, help to ensure the sustainability of the healthcare system, and reduce the environmental impact of health care.

Integrating eVisit in clinical care

Today, healthcare professionals across Ontario are using telemedicine across many therapeutic areas of care. They can connect quickly with their patients, and when necessary, with specialists, to deliver high quality care while improving the patient experience.

Read how healthcare professionals have made telemedicine mainstream and incorporated it into their practice for psychiatry, oncology, general surgery and cardiology.

eCare icon

eCare

Use apps and other devices to monitor patients or coach them to manage their condition at home – ideal for patients with chronic conditions, or mobility issues.

OTN is at the forefront of telemedicine innovation, keeping care closer to home. We continue to introduce new apps to better serve patients and providers in the delivery of care.

View current pilots underway >>  

Clinical Programs

Telehomecare

Telehomecare supports patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congestive heart failure (CHF), plus diabetes as a comorbidity, through health coaching and remote monitoring. Telehomecare is free to patients.

BENEFITS

  • Patients are able to live their best possible life. Telehomecare complements the care provided by their primary care provider.
  • The patient’s doctor is provided with regular reports on the patient’s status and early warning of potential worsening of the condition.
  • This service reduces unnecessary visits to the emergency department and hospital admissions.

HOW IT WORKS

Telehomecare supports patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congestive heart failure (CHF), plus diabetes as a comorbidity, through health coaching and remote monitoring. Telehomecare is free to patients.

 

  1. A primary care provider refers a patient to the CCAC, FHT or hospital delivering Telehomecare in the region.
  2. A technician installs home monitoring equipment.
  3. Patients use home-based technology to measure blood pressure, oxygen, weight, and to answer simple questions about how they are feeling.
  4. Specially-trained registered nurses or certified respiratory therapists monitor daily vital signs and provide weekly health coaching by telephone.

Clinicians who want to learn more about Telehomecare can visit RxTelehomecare.ca. Learn more about the program and check availability in your community.

Learn more >>

Otto and his wife Ulla discuss how Telehomecare has helped Otto effectively manage his heart failure at home.