What Actually Happens When A Specialist Consult Is Ordered In A Hospital & Why Does It Take So Long?

What Actually Happens When A Specialist Consult Is Ordered In A Hospital

The good news: Electronic health record systems (EHRs) have made it very simple to order a specialist consultation for a patient!

The bad news: The time between ordering a consult and a patient being seen can take hours… even days.

There are numerous ways consult orders are communicated– the most straightforward process is for a provider to send a request directly to a colleague’s EHR inbox. But what if that colleague is on vacation, out for an emergency, too busy to check their inbox?

Some providers may choose to send a consult request to a group or specialty instead of a specific provider, adding an extra step in communication. This request must be triaged, typically by a unit secretary, who is responsible for all incoming communication.

Any way a request for consultation is sent, the patient is left waiting to be seen impacting their care delivery and their length of stay in the hospital. It’s very common for technology barriers to be the culprit of slow communication within a hospital.

WakeMed Health & Hospitals, a 900+ bed system, in Raleigh, NC recognized this challenge and worked with Proficient Health to streamline a process to ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible when consults are requested.

Check out the full scoop on how WakeMed is using PH Connect to send thousands of messages every month to ensure inpatient consult requests are read in less than one minute, reduce the average length of stay in the hospital and improve overall patient care.