Leverage Virtual Care and Telehealth to Improve Patient Care

​Industry experts shared their experiences with eConsults during our 2021 virtual care and telehealth conference. Watch the video below to learn more about how eConsults lower the cost of care, improve patient outcomes, and add revenue to the bottom line at primary care practices across the county.

Watch this session, Cindy Craddock, RN, to learn more about the referral review process, get examples of how eConsult telehealth delivers patient treatment plans for everyday and less common conditions, and how eConsults improve patient care as well as your practice.


Presenter: Cindy Craddock, RN Manger of Referral Nurse Navigators at AristaMD

To improve patient care and grow practice revenue, knowing why, when, and which patient referrals can be handled by an eConsult is critical. Provider-to-specialist consults are available in more than 70 specialties – from allergists to urologists and everything in between. Often, you and your referral coordinators aren’t familiar with the breadth of care that eConsults can provide, which delays patient care, damages practice quality metrics, and diminishes the number of services the practice can offer.

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From the video:

What does your primary care to specialist referral process look like? A referral is a written order from a PCP to see a specialist for a specific medical condition or service. The patient comes into the clinic and the provider decides that requires input from a specialist. Traditionally, the provider would order a referral. However, face-to-face referrals create a lot of challenges for the patient, like long wait times for an appointment, travel, or additional copays. These challenges often lead to non-compliance.

eConsults are a form of virtual care and telehealth that frequently replaces patient goes to the PCP office. Wait times are a particular problem because of deferred care during the pandemic. In a recent study by AristaMD, we discovered that wait times for common specialties, like endocrinology, dermatology, cardiology and gastroenterology, can exceed 100 days in major metro areas across the country.

Waiting for care is frustrating for the patient and often expensive for primary care providers participating in value-based care arrangements. A single visit to the emergency department can dramatically increase the cost of care for a patient. Virtual care and telehealth are often used to overcome these challenges. However, not every specialist offers video consultations. Even when telehealth appointments are available by video, the appointment wait times remain long. eConsults allow the PCP to eliminate long wait times by consulting with a specialist electronically. These consultations do not require the patient to interact with the specialist. Rather, the electronic consultation, often called a curbside consultation, replaces the specialist visit and allows the PCP to provide care for the patient. In fact, 70% of all AristaMD eConsults replace a face-to-face visit and electronic consultations influence the patient care plan greater than 90% of the time.