Indian Health Centers and Electronic Consult – Improving Access to Specialty Care

Date: 09/12/2022
Start Time: 2:45pm
End Time: 3:45pm
Room: Crystal 3-4
Track: Health Information Management
Speakers: Libby Sagara, Wendy Barnhart

Clinics including Chapa-De Indian Health and Sacramento Native American Health Centers have found success in increasing their patients’ access to specialty care through electronic consult. E-consult is a telehealth solution allowing patients to remain with their primary care medical home while receiving expedited access to specialty advice. This type of solution is now implemented in health centers across the U.S. and Canada, improving access to care and reducing patient travel, especially in rural, remote settings. In California, Medicaid managed care plans provide financial support for these programs, making them available at no cost to Indian Health Center patients and providers. Session objectives include:
  • Introducing Tribal Health technology and clinical leaders to the benefits of electronic consult, including increased patient satisfaction through reduced travel and time off work and culturally appropriate care;
  • Presenting data on the improved cost savings and efficiency of care delivered through e-consult, including reduced wait times and prevention of unnecessary referrals through resolution of patient questions within 48 hours; and
  • Sharing patient and provider stories of the importance of e-consult through the pandemic, addressing patients’ needs for behavioral and mental health support, and reducing the backlog of referrals exacerbated with COVID-19.