The complexity of medical care ensures that no single physician can know everything, which makes specialist involvement essential for providing optimal management for many conditions. However, in many hospitals the only formal way to obtain specialty expertise is to request a traditional consult, which includes chart review, history, physical examination, and a detailed note with recommendations. Because such consults are time consuming and resource intensive, no health care system has the capacity to offer them for every patient who might benefit. This forced duality—traditional consult vs nothing—leads to a brisk market in “curbside consults,” which are limited by incomplete information exchange and can result in inaccurate recommendations.1
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Wachter RM, Judson TJ, Mourad M. Reimagining Specialty Consultation in the Digital Age: The Potential Role of Targeted Automatic Electronic Consultations. JAMA. Published online June 27, 2019322(5):399–400. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.6607
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