Tim Tsang, MD
“I’m not a computer geek, but I am interested in technology. With my understanding of how physicians function in their practices, I’ve been able to design ways for technology to fit into their workflow.”
The e-Consult System, which will be available on every TPMG physician’s computer by the end of 2004, began life as the Urology Knowledge Base, created by Dr. Tsang in 1998 to help physicians in San Jose make referrals to his department.
“Before then, all consult requests were transmitted via paper,” explains Dr. Tsang. “Turnaround time was long; sometimes the consult got lost or the FAX machine was broken; and there was no way of tracking the requests.” By 2000, the system, re-named e-Consult, had spread throughout San Jose and had been adapted for use at South San Francisco and Santa Clara. Concurrently, other facilities were adopting CRES (Consultation/Referral Entry System), which lacked many of the capabilities of e-Consult, but was able to link to the mainframe computer.
The new e-Consult system offers all the benefits of the original e-Consult, such as online questions to help triage the consult and printable patient education materials, as well as the direct booking capabilities of CRES. “It is beyond my wildest dreams that the Urology Knowledge Base would evolve into the enterprise solution that e-Consult is today,” he concludes. Dr. Tsang is already working on the next frontier – helping to assure that the features of e-Consult are incorporated into the KP Health Connect system, due for alpha testing in South Sacramento by the end of 2004.