BACKGROUND: Complexity of health problems and aging of the population create an ongoing burden on the health care system with the general practitioner (GP) being the gatekeeper in primary care. In GPs daily practice, collaboration with specialists and exchange of knowledge from the secondary care play a crucial role in this system. Communication between primary and secondary care has shortcomings for health care workers that want to practice sustainable patient-centered health care. Therefore, a new digital interactive platform was developed: Prisma.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the development of a digital consultation platform (Prisma) to connect GPs with hospital specialists via the Siilo application and to evaluate the first year of use, including consultations, topic diversity, and number of participating physicians.
METHODS: We conducted a mixed methods observational study, analyzing qualitative and quantitative data for cases posted on the platform between June 2018 and May 2020. Any GP can post questions to an interdisciplinary group of secondary care specialists, with the platform designed to facilitate discussion and knowledge exchange for all users.
RESULTS: In total, 3674 cases were posted by 424 GPs across 16 specialisms. Most questions and answers concerned diagnosis, nonmedical treatment, and medication. Mean response time was 76 minutes (range 44-252). An average of 3 users engaged with each case (up to 7 specialists). Almost half of the internal medicine cases received responses from at least two specialisms in secondary care, contrasting with about one-fifth for dermatology. Of note, the growth in consultations was steepest for dermatology.
CONCLUSIONS: Digital consultations offer the possibility for GPs to receive quick responses when seeking advice. The interdisciplinary approach of Prisma creates opportunities for digital patient-centered networking.