Evaluation of PARC eConsults Pilot: Formative Evaluation Report

Evaluation of PARC eConsults Pilot: Formative Evaluation Report

Published: Dec 11, 2023
Publisher: Mathematica
Associated Project

Project Arkansas eConsultations: Bridging Primary and Specialty Care Through eConsults

Time frame: 2020 – 2023

Prepared for:

Peterson Center on Healthcare

The Peterson Center on Healthcare, in collaboration with Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, planned and implemented a pilot known as Project Arkansas eConsultations (PARC) in a health system and eight independent practices in Arkansas. eConsults are asynchronous consultations that involve exchange of patients’ clinical information across an electronic platform allowing primary care providers to seek input from specialists on specific clinical questions. eConsults have the potential to reduce costs because they help avoid more costly face-to-face consultations with specialists and might avoid acute care use by easing patient problems accessing necessary specialist care. 

The formative evaluation addressed the following research questions through qualitative analysis of key informant interviews, descriptive analysis of eConsult utilization, and summary of results from a survey of health system specialists:

1. What are the core operational considerations for eConsult adoption?
2. What are the key motivators driving and barriers impeding eConsult adoption?
3. How do specialists experience eConsult programs?

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