New eConsult Program Connects CHI Patients with Specialists Across the Country

Dr. Saint Anthony Amofah discusses a patient’s condition with a cardiologist online.

CHI patients will soon have highly-qualified medical specialists contributing to their care. Thanks to a grant-funded program, CHI primary care providers will be able to connect with specialists across the country who can provide guidance and direction in treating a patient. The new program is called the eConsult.

When a patient is referred to a specialist, such as a cardiologist or a dermatologist, they might face delays. It can be challenging to set up an appointment—sometimes waiting months to see the specialist. Other times, a patient may be uninsured and cannot afford to see a specialist, or doesn’t have the means to travel long distances to the nearest specialist’s office.

“We realized that all we need to bridge that gap is guidance on how to manage the patient,” said Dr. St. Anthony Amofah, CHI’s Chief Medical Officer. “The eConsult program allows us to get that guidance from a specialist through even a simple phone call.”

A CHI clinician will be able to consult a network of specialists when they need guidance on a treatment plan or to review test results. What would normally take several weeks, the CHI care team can receive feedback from the specialist in as little as two days.

Not only does this benefit the patient, but having readily-accessible guidance offers clinicians a unique opportunity to expand their own skill set and improve patient care.

“Providers get educated and learn from it,” said Dr. Amofah. “It’s a powerful learning experience that allows you to be a better clinician for other patients as well.”

Dr. Amofah adds, “Technology in the healthcare industry has the potential to make way for patients to receive all-encompassing care by their primary care provider. Patients are more likely to remain consistent in receiving the care they need with their primary physician.”

“These are the leading-edge technologies that make a difference across the board,” said Dr. Amofah.

The eConsult program is set to launch this summer.