Modernizing the Otolaryngology Referral Workflow: The Impact of Electronic Consultation

Eliezer C. Kinberg, Diana N. Kirke, Samuel J. Trosman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To determine the impact of electronic consultation on the otolaryngology clinic workflow at our high-volume public hospital. Study Design: Retrospective Observational Study. Methods: This is a retrospective observational analysis study. Operational data regarding clinic volume, referral patterns, and scheduling efficiency were assessed over a 9-month period in 2018 prior to implementation of electronic consultation. The same data were collected for the 9-month period immediately following implementation of electronic consultation in 2019. Results: During the pre-implementation (pre-EC) period, 3,243 otolaryngology referrals were made as compared to 4,249 post-implementation (post-EC). 86% of referrals were scheduled for a clinic appointment pre-EC, compared to 61% post-EC (P <.00001) 24.5% of patients were evaluated within 30 days pre-EC compared to 53.6% post-EC (P <.00001). The average time to be seen by an otolaryngology provider declined from 60.8 days pre-EC to 42.8 days post-EC (P =.0029). There was a 50% decline in the percentage of appointments canceled by patients in the post-EC period as compared to pre-EC. Conclusions: In our experience, implementation of electronic consultation significantly reduced both wait times for a clinic appointment and the percentage of no-show or canceled appointments. Electronic consultation may be a valuable tool in improving the efficiency and yield of the modern otolaryngology clinic. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 131:E1792–E1796, 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1792-E1796
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • clinic access
  • e-consult
  • electronic consultation


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