The issue of long wait times for specialist care is one of the most significant problems facing healthcare in Canada. These waits are particularly concerning because patients may “face the greatest wait-related risk at the earlier phases of care, before the disease has been conclusively diagnosed and a treatment plan established.”1

To help address this issue, CFHI is inviting healthcare delivery organizations to participate in a 15-month quality improvement collaborative focused on implementing remote consult services.

 Connected Medicine

Connected Medicine: Enhancing Primary Care Access to Specialist Consult
A 15-Month Quality Improvement Collaborative

The Connected Medicine collaborative is a partnership between the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (The Royal College ).

Remote consult is a provider-to-provider advice and communication model that facilitates communication between healthcare providers about patient care. It includes electronic consult (eConsult), telephone and/or mobile application (app) consult.

The Connected Medicine collaborative will focus primarily on the issue of timely access to specialty care. Most often, remote consult involves primary healthcare providers connecting with specialist providers. However, we recognize that “who consults” and “who is consulted” can vary and this collaborative is also designed to support these variations. 

The call for applications is now closed. CFHI will communicate directly with all applicants.
A merit review will take place and teams will be announced in the coming months.

Connected Medicine: Enhancing Primary Care Access to Specialist Consult

Key Dates

  • March 7, 2017: Call for applications (expression of commitment) launch
  • March 8, 2017: Connected Medicine informational webinar
  • March – April 2017: Pre-application coaching calls
  • May 4, 2017: Application (expression of commitment) deadline
  • May 2017: Applications (expression of commitment) reviewed and teams selected
  • May 31, 2017: Deadline for signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)*
  • June 14, 2017: Collaborative orientation webinar
  • September 20, 2017: 1st collaborative webinar
  • September 2018: Final deliverables due

*A slightly modified MOU template that conforms to Act M-30 will apply to publicly funded organizations in Quebec.

The Connected Medicine collaborative will focus on spreading two leading Canadian innovations that have demonstrably improved primary healthcare access to specialist consultation services.

Champlain BASE™ eConsult ServiceChamplain BASE™ eConsult Service (BASE™), a secure web-based eConsult service launched within the Champlain Local Health Integration Network in Ontario,



Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise and Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise (RACE™), a telephone advice line launched at Providence Health Care and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Models of care such as BASE™ and RACE™ demonstrate that remote consult can effectively reduce wait times to see a specialist by enabling primary care providers to more effectively manage their patients in a primary care setting.

This collaborative builds on the 2016–17 Connected Medicine e-collaborative, in which 10 teams from across Canada and internationally came together to develop business cases and strategies to implement remote consult services in their jurisdictions.

Connected Medicine Partner Logos

1Canadian Institute for Health Information. Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada, 2016. Ottawa, ON: CIHI; 2016.