Virtual Health Consultation: Stop the Wait, Provide the Care

AristaMD’s Glen Olson, Vice President of Business Development, and Eric Urquiza, Sr. Vice President of Operations & Client Experience, explain how virtual health consultations support primary care providers (PCP), including:

  1. What is an eConsult? An eConsult is a virtual health consultation between two physicians that enables primary care providers to obtain specialist advice to guide patient care and treatment without requiring the patient to go to a face-to-face visit.
  2. How to request an eConsult? A simple interface or full integration with your EHR allows you to request a specialist consultation in minutes and receive a response in a few hours.
  3. What specialties are available? With more than 70 specialties available, our specialist panel is ready to help PCPs improve access to care through timely clinical consultation.
  4. What are the benefits? eConsults help providers operate at the top of their license, increasing job satisfaction, growing practice revenue, increasing access and positively impacting patient care.

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Increase patient access with virtual health consultations

Patient access management is a high priority currently, due to patients deferring care during COVID and a short supply of providers. Modern Healthcare reports that wellness visits declined 69% during 2020. With a flood of patients that are overdue for care, states are turning to nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to improve access to primary care.

What’s Causing the Healthcare Staff Shortages?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 4.5 million people who quit their jobs in November 2021, 6.4% were healthcare and social assistance workers. That’s one of the highest quit rates in any industry, second only to accommodation and food services. Burnout rates among healthcare workers are also skyrocketing. Major news outlets have reported that many doctors are exiting the field completely.

This exodus comes at a time of high demand for appointments, with rebounding patient volumes in hospitals and health systems from people who put off care earlier in the pandemic. As healthcare providers leave the workforce, the ability for APs to provider unrestricted care is expanding to fill the gap.

In 2020, California tackled the primary care provider shortage by passing a law to allow nurse practitioners to practice without physician supervision after meeting certain criteria. The timely passage of this legislation will help address an expected shortage of more than 4,000 primary care physicians in the state and reduce the number of patients waiting for care because of the pandemic.