Specialist LINK tele-advice is just a click away!
January 15, 2019
CALGARY – Specialist support for family doctors in the Calgary area is now just a click away, at www.specialistlink.ca.
The innovative and hugely-successful tele-advice line -- which offers family physicians same-day access to real-time, non-urgent advice – can be requested via a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, cell phone or other mobile devices. To receive a call-back from a specialist within an hour, doctors or support staff can visit www.specialistlink.ca, click on the preferred specialty or group and leave a direct call-back number. Alternatively, they can continue to request the service by calling 403.910.2551 or 1.844.962.5465 and selecting their preferred service.
“It’s now much quicker and easier for physicians to access tele-advice from any of the 15 groups available on Specialist LINK,” said Dr. Linda Slocombe, chair of the Health Systems Support group that developed the service, a unique collaboration between specialists, the Calgary area’s seven Primary Care Networks and Alberta Health Services.
“The rapid growth of Specialist LINK has increased the options available to physicians so we wanted to ensure it continues to be as simple and convenient as possible to request support. Those who prefer to pick up the phone to ask for a call-back can continue to do so, but physicians and their support staff now have two great options as we continue to grow and add services.”
Specialist LINK, first launched in 2014, is available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for chronic pain), excluding statutory holidays. Calls are returned within an hour for the following specialties or groups:
- Chronic pain
- Congestive heart failure
- Palliative Care
- Pediatrics (PaedLINK)
- Podiatric surgery
- Sports Medicine
- Vascular surgery
Tele-advice can be requested by physicians or their support staff. However, a direct line or cell phone number for the physician requesting advice must be entered. Physicians waiting for a call-back should also have their patient’s Personal Health Number at hand. Those requesting tele-advice by phone should consult the online phone tree. For any technical problems related to tele-advice please call 587.774.9740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Specialist LINK continues to demonstrate what can be achieved when specialty care and primary care work together to improve patient care,” said Dr. Slocombe. “The success of the tele-advice line means more patients are receiving the care they need from their family doctor in their medical home. Unnecessary emergency visits and consultations are avoided and in some cases, wait times to see a specialist are also going down. We’re continuing to work closely with new specialty groups and hope to add more services in the coming months.”
According to cost projections, each call to Specialist LINK saves the healthcare system an estimated $118. Estimated savings surpassed $1 million in September 2018 and based on current growth projections, Specialist LINK is expected to save $1 million a year by 2024.
In addition to offering tele-advice Specialist LINK also offers clinical care pathways and other resources to support family physicians as they care for their patients. There are currently 21 access and care pathways available at www.specialistlink.ca,
About Specialist LINK
Specialist LINK was launched in 2014 as part of a collaboration between Calgary and area Primary Care Networks, specialists and Alberta Health Services. A non-urgent tele-advice line for family physicians is available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for chronic pain), excluding statutory holidays. Call 403-910-2551 or toll-free at 1-844-962-5465. Calls are returned within one hour. Clinical care pathways are also available. Please visit www.specialistlink.ca for more details.
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