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2022-07-13

The art of the hallway consult

“Can I get your thoughts on this?”

“Can I run something by you?”

These are familiar questions asked by primary care providers to specialists. Questions like these are part of the daily discourse of medicine, coined hallway consults.

Let’s take a look back

Traditionally, hallway consults occurred in elevators, lunch rooms or hospital corridors (earning their name). These brief clinical interactions were localized, casual, undocumented and aimed at solving a particular question on the spot. Such interactions relied on chance encounters with a colleague – bumping into someone or finding shared free time – an unreliable method for gaining advice. Given that Canada is geographically vast and not densely populated in some areas, oftentimes there are few or no specialist colleagues to consult with.

Entering the digital era, hallway consults have shifted to take place by way of email, phone or video. In turn, reducing the traditional reliance on chance encounters with a colleague. These new means of connecting have caused a shift in how we consult, increasing access to specialists both in and outside of one’s institution.

Hallways are not what they used to be.

Current day, how do we connect and gain advice on patient care?

Both traditional and digital consults are tried-and-true methods for gaining advice from a specialist, though they are plagued with challenges.

  • Finding the right colleague to consult with. 
  • Phone tag and missed emails. 
  • Administrative burden. 
  • Absence of record keeping or follow-up. 
  • Medico-legal risks. 
  • Not getting paid. 

We haven't reinvented the wheel; we’ve just made it better. Like a traditional hallway consult, after a few minutes of collegial discussion you can confidently deliver the highest quality of care based on actionable advice.

It’s a hallway consult, several a day are a-ok.

Streamlined and simple – book, consult via phone, receive report, receive payment.

Virtual Hallway doesn’t take time away from you, it gives it back.


…to teach them this Art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples …

Hippocrates 
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