skip to main content

How eConsult works

There are four easy steps involved in requesting an eConsult and receiving a specialist’s response:

  1. Referring clinician sees patient and collects PHI such as:
    • Exam results
    • Lab results
    • Digital photos
  2. Referring clinician creates and sends eConsult to specialist with PHI and a clinical question
  3. Specialist reviews patient data and accepts (or rejects) the case
  4. Specialist:
    • Answers a clinical question or;
    • Provides a consult report or;
    • Requests that the patient be referred

Options for eConsult access

The Ontario eConsult program offers choice and flexibility in how the service can be accessed. Users have the option to access specialist advice through the Direct to Specialist or BASE Managed Specialty.

  • BASE™ Managed Specialty – Requesting provider submits cases to a regional or provincial managed service, which is a group of specialists for a given specialty or sub-specialty (e.g. pediatric cardiology). Cases are assigned based on specialist availability.
  • Direct to Specialist – Requesting provider submits consult cases directly to individual specialists. 

OntarioMD is leading the eConsult EMR integration initiative to support availability of the service through OntarioMD-certified EMRs to align with clinician workflows. An updated EMR specification was made available to all OntarioMD-certified EMR vendors in Spring 2019. This specification defines the requirements for integrating with the provincial eConsult service. Until OntarioMD completes the EMR integration, we continue to encourage clinicians to leverage the service available through OTNhub.


The Ontario eConsult Program 

The Ontario eConsult Program is made up of four services: Ontario eConsult service, Champlain BASE™ regional service, and the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)'s Teledermatology and Teleophthalmology. The program is led by the Ontario eConsult Centre of Excellence in partnership with OTN, OntarioMD, eHealth Ontario and various regional partners. It is available to all family physicians, specialists and nurse practitioners in Ontario, at no cost to clinicians or patients.