L.A. Care’s Web-enabled primary care-to-specialist consultation and referral system, called eConsult, has successfully launched and completed its first patient consults for dermatology and neurology specialties in seven L.A. County locations.
eConsult enables primary care providers and specialty physicians to communicate, share clinical information and consult electronically to better coordinate patient care. For patients, the system is intended to improve access to care by reducing unnecessary specialist visits and reducing wait times. The system also processes referral requests and authorizations if a face-to-face, patient-to-specialist visit is required.
The initial users are Long Beach Comprehensive Health Center, QueensCare-Eastside Family Clinic, Tarzana Treatment Center-Northridge, Venice Family Clinic, Northeast Valley Health Corporation, Saban Free Clinic, and The Children’s Clinic. A total of 53 clinic sites, including all DHS primary care facilities, will be using eConsult by the year’s end. Ultimately, L.A. Care envisions all L.A. County safety net providers to implement eConsult as a common platform with common standards to advance health information exchange and telehealth.
L.A. Care collaborated with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS), and MedPOINT Management to develop and test the eConsult concept during a successful 18-month pilot that concluded last year. Results showed a 25% to 48% reduction in the need for face-to-face specialty care visits.
For more information about eConsult, click here.