Dr. Daren Wu uses eConsults to provide comprehensive healthcare to his patients, many of whom experience barriers in accessing critical specialty care.
Dr. Wu is the Chief Medical Officer of Open Door Family Medical Centers, a network of federally-qualified health centers located in New York’s Westchester and Putnam Counties. Open Door Family Medical Centers offer primary care, dental and behavioral health services to their patients, including a large population of Hispanic immigrants. Open Door is dedicated to providing affordable, quality care with their mission of "keeping the people of Westchester and Putnam counties healthy and strong, regardless of their ability to pay."
These patients often find difficulty obtaining specialty medical services like visits to psychiatrists and cardiologists. According to Dr. Wu, “In our practice we have a lot of uninsured patients. Not only do they lack the financial means to go see a lot of specialists because they don’t have the insurance for that, they also have transportation issues.” Lack of reliable transportation to appointments, uninsured or underinsured status and language barriers all act as obstacles to care for Open Door patients.
To address these barriers, Dr. Wu and other Open Door clinicians employ eConsults within their practices, leveraging specialty insights to provide thorough care to their patients. “An eConsult allows us to really bypass a lot of barriers and get the consult that we need for our patients” says Dr. Wu. eConsults also allow Dr. Wu to engage with other physicians across the country. He says “It’s a conversation essentially, or some sort of interaction with a specialist. You don’t get a lot of opportunities now to speak with colleagues in medicine.” With this resource, providers are able to obtain expert insights and advice not typically available in the community health setting.
Primary care clinicians like Dr. Wu devote their careers to providing attentive, patient-centric care. “The joy of being a primary care provider is there when it comes to your direct patient interactions - the ability to really get to know your patients. Not just them but their family members and you not only know their family members, you’re also treating them” Dr. Wu says. eConsults enable clinicians to provide outstanding care to patients and families, regardless of their income or insurance status.