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The Basics of Being a Specialist on Virtual Hallway

2022-03-31

Being a specialist on Virtual Hallway means you are now part of a solution to efficiently provide rapid, effective care to hundreds of thousands of patients who would otherwise be without specialist care, or sit for months on waitlists.

Joining Virtual Hallway means now being part of a community where family physicians and specialists can work together in real time for the best of large numbers of patients.

Block off availability

 The first step is to log into your calendar and block off times where family physicians and nurse practitioners can book phone consults with you. You can choose as much or as little time as you’d like. There are some strategies to consider to maximize the number of consults you receive. It takes a bit of time to really build up a big consult base, but with sticking to the basic principles it will happen.

Wait for your first consult request

It’ll come by text message and email. Make note of it, review the consult within your portal and ensure that it is a request that will work for a phone consult.

Make the call

At the time of the scheduled request, call the family physician. Discuss the case, ask lots of questions, get a sense of the family doctor’s impression of the problem. Come up with a plan together.

Document the call

Write up the call in the consult report form. It can be as short or as long as you wish, though we recommend you include a brief summary include any suggestions made. Record the provisional diagnosis and submit the report.

Billings

After you submit your consult report, we will bill provincial phone consult codes on your behalf. Then, once a month we will transfer you your billings along with a statement.

Your consult request form

Your consult request form is customizable. This form can ask family physicians to include as much or as little information as you would like to have. Some specialists would like to have a lot of information up front in the consult request form so that they can focus on recommendations during the call. Other specialists prefer to have a more basic form because they want the conversation to be more free flowing. It is up to you.

Duty of Care

The division of care within Virtual Hallway is clear: the Specialist is providing advice to the family physician based on the information provided in the consult request form and the call. However, the family physician is aware that the Specialist is not taking over care of the patient. Virtual Hallway is just that, a hallway consult. Except it can be done anywhere. And is documented. And reimbursed.

Reconsults

Family physicians can re-consult on patients with the same specialist. It is recommended that this not be done more frequently than 14 days because some jurisdictions do not permit billing more frequently for a given patient Than 14 days. However, reconsults can be an excellent way to ensure some continuity of care and follow up on recommendations made.

Office staff

Virtual Hallway accounts can be converted to Practice Group accounts. These accounts allow for a physicians office staff to access documentation for imporatation to EMRs, complete consult request forms, or complete consult reports.

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