Providence Health Care in British Columbia, Canada, established a hotline for general practitioners to call and speak directly with specialists, called RACE: Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise.
RACE provides on-call specialist expertise to general practitioners faced with complex patient needs. Rather than referring their patient to a specialist, and the patient having to wait months or referring the patient on to the emergency department, the general practitioner can call the RACE line and be connected with the necessary specialist. The initial call routes through a centralized phone line and a specialist contacts the general practitioner by phone to discuss the patient’s case and the best course of treatment.
Specialists bill for the consultative services they provide, creating an incentive for participation in the RACE program.