Specialist to Specialist eConsults can help reduce the impact of the physician shortage on the ability of specialists to provide care efficiently. Long patient referral wait times for cardiologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists and many other specialists delay the ability of specialists needing input from another specialty area to proceed with the patient’s care plan. Typically, a patient needing advice in another specialty area would receive a referral. However, wait times exceeding 30 days for many appointments are creating a backlog for the treating physician. For example, a patient who requires clearance from a cardiologist to proceed with orthopedic surgery must wait weeks or months before the surgery is scheduled.
How Can eConsults Help?
Specialists turn to AristaMD to quickly access guidance from another specialist for many reasons.
Often, the specialist will request an eConsult to confirm that their treatment plan will not have any contraindications. A contraindication is a condition that serves as a reason not to take a certain medical treatment due to the harm that it would cause the patient. Advice from a specialist in another area can offer alternate treatment options to avoid contraindications.
Specialists who don’t want to wait for a completed referral use AristaMD to get advice in another specialty area, usually within 4-6 hours. This allows the treating physician to implement a plan for the patient without waiting for a completed referral. It also helps many specialists reduce the number of follow-up visits with patients — allowing the specialist to focus on new patients waiting for an appointment.
Lower Patient Costs
Specialist eConsults allow the patient to avoid an unnecessary referral, as well as avoid copays and delays in care due to difficulty obtaining an appointment with an in-network specialist. The patient also avoids taking time off work, obtaining childcare and traveling to multiple visits. eConsults have also been proven to prevent additional unnecessary workups, emergency room visits and hospitalization due to delays in care.
Better Treatment Options
With advice from a provider in another specialty, physicians gain valuable insight to improve treatment plans. This knowledge also reduces the need for future referrals and consults as the specialist receives information that can often be applied to future patient care.