What is the Provincial eConsult Initiative?

OntarioMD is leading the implementation of a provincial eConsult service to enable faster access to specialist advice for Ontarians. The program is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).

What is an eConsult?

An eConsult enables requesting clinicians (family physicians and nurse practitioners) to engage in a secure, electronic dialogue with specialists to manage patient care, without the need for a face-to-face visit. eConsults may avoid the need to refer a patient to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

Working with both the Champlain BASE eConsult and Ontario Telemedicine Network's (OTN) eConsult and Teledermatology services, pilots are underway to evaluate services for widespread access and use by Ontario physicians.

How does an eConsult work?

A requesting physician or nurse practitioner submits patient information and a request for an eConsult after selecting the appropriate specialist. The specialist reviews the information submitted and provides a response back to the requester electronically.

What are the benefits?

A Benefits Evaluation was conducted during Phase 1 from January to June 2015. Some highlights of the report are:

For more information on the benefits of eConsult, please review the Benefits Evaluation study.

What is the CMPA's position on using eConsult to provide patient care?

The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) has assessed the eConsult flow of care and determined that it provides an opportunity to improve efficiency, enhance patient care, expand access to specialists and provides a clear audit trail of the specialist's advice given to the requesting clinician for the suggested care of the patient. For more information on the CMPA's eConsult position, please review the CMPA Assessment.

How can I access eConsult?

eConsult is currently in its pilot phase and is open to physicians and nurse practitioners practicing across Ontario. There are certain eligibility criteria that must be met to participate in the eConsult pilot. Please contact your OntarioMD Practice Advisor or email: econsult@ontariomd.com.

eConsult EMR Integration Proof of Concept

As part of the Provincial eConsult Initiative, an eConsult EMR Integration Proof of Concept is underway with two EMR Vendors in partnership with eHealth Ontario and OTN.


1 Data Source - OntarioMD Phase 1: Provincial eConsult Initiative Benefits Evaluation Study (Author: Deloitte as objective 3rd party evaluator)
2 Data Source - Liddy C(1,)(2), Deri Armstrong C(3), McKellips F(1), Keely E(4), "A comparison of referral patterns to a multispecialty eConsultation service between nurse practitioners and family physicians: The case for eConsult", J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2015 May 12.)