Experiences in Electronic Consultation (eConsult) Service in Gynecology from a Quaternary Academic Medical Center

J Med Syst. 2021 Apr 6;45(5):58. doi: 10.1007/s10916-021-01732-9.


To evaluate an academic institution’s implementation of a gynecologic electronic consultation (eConsult) service, including the most common queries, turnaround time, need for conversion to in-person visits, and to demonstrate how eConsults can improve access and convenience for patients and providers. This is a descriptive and retrospective electronic chart review. We obtained data from the UCSF eConsult and Smart Referral program manager. The medical system provided institution-wide statistics. Three authors reviewed and categorized gynecologic eConsults for the last fiscal year. The senior author resolved conflicts in coding. The eConsult program manager provided billing information and provider reimbursement. A total of 548 eConsults were submitted to the gynecology service between July 2017 and June 2020 (4.5% of institutional eConsult volume). Ninety-five percent of the eConsults were completed by a senior specialist within our department. Abnormal pap smear management, abnormal uterine bleeding, and contraception questions were the most common queries. Over half (59.3%) of all inquiries were answered on the same day as they were received, with an average of 9% declined. Gynecology was the 10th largest eConsult provider at our institution in 2020. The present investigation describes one large university-based experience with eConsults in gynecology. Results demonstrate that eConsults permit appropriate, efficient triaging of time-sensitive conditions affecting patients especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. eConsult services provide the potential to improve access, interdisciplinary communication, and patient and provider satisfaction.

PMID:33825075 | PMC:PMC8023771 | DOI:10.1007/s10916-021-01732-9