Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Implications of Electronic Consultations for Clinician Communication and Relationships: A Qualitative Study.

Anderson E, Vimalananda VG, Orlander JD, Cutrona SL, Strymish JL, Bokhour BG, Rinne ST. Implications of Electronic Consultations for Clinician Communication and Relationships: A Qualitative Study. Medical care. 2021 Sep 1; 59(9):808-815.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Strong relationships and effective communication between clinicians support care coordination and contribute to care quality. As a new mechanism of clinician communication, electronic consultations (e-consults) may have downstream effects on care provision and coordination. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to understand primary care providers'' and specialists'' perspectives on how e-consults affect communication and relationships between clinicians. RESEARCH DESIGN: Qualitative study using thematic analysis of semistructured interviews. SUBJECTS: Six of 8 sites in the VISN 1 (Veterans Integrated Service Network) in New England were chosen, based on variation in organization and received e-consult volume. Seventy-three respondents, including 60 clinicians in primary care and 3 high-volume specialties (cardiology, pulmonology, and neurology) and 13 clinical leaders at the site and VISN level, were recruited. MEASURES: Participants'' perspectives on the role and impact of e-consults on communication and relationships between clinicians. RESULTS: Clinicians identified 3 types of e-consults'' social affordances: (1) e-consults were praised for allowing specialist advice to be more grounded in patient data and well-documented, but concerns about potential legal liability and increased transparency of communication to patients and others were also noted; (2) e-consults were perceived as an imperfect modality for iterative communication, especially for complex conversations requiring shared deliberation; (3) e-consults were understood as a factor influencing clinician relationships, but clinicians disagreed on whether e-consults promote or undermine relationship building. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians have diverse concerns about the implications of e-consults for communication and relationships. Our findings may inform efforts to expand and improve the use of e-consults in diverse health care settings.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.