An e-consultation is an asynchronous consultation performed by a specialist without a face-to-face patient visit. E-consultations have been available to primary care providers at the Mayo Clinic for several years. We reviewed e-consultations performed by specialists at the Mayo Clinic for the first six months of 2013. We included only "internal" e-consultations, originating from within the Rochester practice. During the study period a total of 3242 e-consultations were completed at the Mayo Clinic. After excluding those relating to patients who did not give research consent, 3008 e-consultations remained. We categorized our internal e-consultations into eight types. The most frequently used types were the first e-consultation processes to be implemented: the primary care to specialist e-consultation and the specialist to specialist e-consultation, accounting for 74% of the total. As these two types of e-consultation became widely used, the staff discovered that the e-consultation process could be adapted to meet specific practice needs and six more e-consultation types emerged. For example, intra-specialty e-consultations and surgical e-consultations accounted for 16% of the total. E-consultations appear to have improved access to specialists, and they are integrated into care processes when timely expert opinions are needed. As e-consultations evolve, it will be important to develop a standard, well-defined terminology to compare outcomes of these processes across practices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics