We are proud to have been featured in leading medical and healthcare publications. We’re in a unique position to provide increased access to top medical specialists to patients around the world, and our innovative approach has received recognition for making the process of receiving a second opinion hassle-free, quick, and convenient.
Most recently, we have partnered with Transcarent to provide access to virtual second opinions for all of their members. This added benefit gives Transcarent members virtual access to more than 3,500 top specialists in 550+ subspecialties, helping them receive the best medical advice for their unique situation without having to travel. By empowering patients to make informed decisions about their health and well-being, we are helping to shape a new model of healthcare.
Find Us in the News
We have recently been featured in two articles that highlight how virtual second opinions can benefit patients as well as practical advice for overcoming fears related to getting a second opinion.
“A Virtual Second Opinion Can Save Your Life”
Director of Clinical Operations Nancy Papesh’s insights were featured in the article “A Virtual Second Opinion Can Save Your Life” published by Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare.
The case of a 60-year-old patient outlines how a second opinion led to clarity, peace of mind, and, best of all, a better outlook, even in the face of a rare and complex diagnosis. Dan first began to experience shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat. After an MRI and bloodwork, his initial diagnosis was amyloidosis, a rare and potentially fatal condition. However, subsequent biopsies came back negative or inconclusive, and Dan was left with no clear answers about his condition and no pathway to effective treatment.
A Virtual Second Opinion by Cleveland Clinic was the key to Dan’s diagnosis. In a matter of days, their expert team provided Dan with an accurate diagnosis so he could get the treatment he needed. From receiving more accurate diagnoses and personalized care plans to gaining peace of mind, there are many advantages of utilizing a second opinion program.
Common Roadblocks to Receiving a Second Opinion
Papesh explores the obstacles that can keep people from seeking a second opinion. These include:
- Specialty care deserts – Individuals living in rural areas or cities with limited access to medical care can’t easily make their way to a specialist for the second opinion they need.
- Time – There can be a wait of weeks or even months for appointments with a specialist, and the time needed to gather medical records can add even more delays.
- Access – Simply getting connected to the right specialist can be a daunting task.
However, virtual second opinions provide a solution to these issues. By allowing individuals to access specialists in any location, with no wait time and convenient medical record retrieval, virtual second opinions make the process of receiving a second opinion easy and fast.
Choosing a Virtual Second Opinion (VSO) Program and Ongoing Care
“Not all VSO programs are created equal,” Papesh writes. Providing access to specialists across a wide range of conditions and subspecialties is essential for a second opinion program to be effective. Additionally, without the administrative support to collect medical records, including imaging and test results, the process of obtaining a second opinion could be delayed for weeks or months. A nurse care manager who can coordinate this process is also important for a successful second opinion program.
Beyond the diagnosis, patients need continued access to care, and virtual options can provide a convenient way to stay in touch with top experts. Cancer patients, for example, can connect virtually with a specialist for consultations. And since Papesh notes that 25% of cancer patients travel an hour or more to see their doctor, this extra convenience can make a real difference.
“Looking for a Second Opinion? How to Get Past 3 Common Fears”
Papesh has also been featured in a recent Next Avenue piece highlighting some of the roadblocks that can prevent people from seeing a specialist for a second opinion. In “Looking for a Second Opinion? How to Get Past 3 Common Fears,” Papesh explores the ways virtual second opinions can help patients overcome fear and get the right diagnosis.
A Second Opinion for a Complex Condition
The case of a patient named Kenneth, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cholangiocarcinoma, a rare bile duct cancer, serves as an example of the power of virtual second opinions. After an initial diagnosis, his wife wondered if there was more they could do. Upon learning about virtual second opinions, they connected with The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic. Their experience with the program gave them “great reassurance” as they began treatment.
Overcoming Fears About Second Opinions
1. “Cheating” on Your Doctor
The first fear that Papesh highlights is that patients often feel like they’re “cheating” on their doctor. Some patients can worry that they’re demonstrating a lack of trust in their local care team by seeking an outside opinion. However, in medicine, collaboration is key.
“Especially in this situation, where you’re dealing with a severe illness, you need another doctor to confirm: ‘You’re doing the right thing,'” notes Linda, wife of the patient diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma.
2. Not Knowing How to Get Started
Another common fear patients face is not knowing where to start. Complex medical conditions are already fraught with uncertainty, and the idea of searching for an outside opinion can be daunting. Trying to connect with a specialist can be a time-consuming process, and once you’ve identified a convenient expert, it may take weeks to get an appointment.
Virtual second opinion programs can help minimize these hurdles and make the process of finding an expert easier. Expert matching allows patients to spend less time searching for a specialist.
3. Collecting Records and Paperwork
Finally, Papesh details one of the biggest fears that hold patients back—and it’s an unnecessary one. Patients who put off receiving a second opinion due to concerns about gathering the necessary paperwork or records of previous treatments can rest assured that virtual second opinion programs can help manage this process. A nurse care manager can help compile the necessary documents and records to make sure a specialist has access to all relevant information.
In Kenneth’s case, his specialist confirmed his original diagnosis and recommended several different treatment options. While this virtual second opinion did not result in a diagnostic change, it did give the patient much-needed peace of mind and confidence in his treatment plan.
The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic: Virtual Second Opinions Made Simple
We offer personalized, virtual second opinion programs to provide access to world-renowned care from the comfort of home. The program enables patients to have their records reviewed and connect with a specialist who can provide the best treatment advice. With no travel time, no red tape, and no hassles, virtual second opinions provide peace of mind to patients in need.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a complex condition, are considering a new treatment plan, or just want the confidence of knowing you’ve made the right decision for your care, we can help. Learn more about virtual second opinions and how to get started today.