Partners expands second-opinion service with Health Advocate partnership
Partners Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare, is broadening the reach of its Online Second Opinions Service to include the collection of medical records and radiology and pathology test results.
A new agreement with West Corp.'s Health Advocate subsidiary will expand the offerings of the second-opinion service, which gives patients and physicians online remote access to specialists at worldwide hospitals affiliated with Partners.
A recent review of online second-opinion consults at Partners members – Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital – found that in 90 percent of the medical cases reviewed, Partners specialists recommended a complete change in the treatment plan.
What's more, in 5 percent of cases, the specialist consulted online recommended an entirely new diagnosis.
Health Advocate aims to help patients individuals navigate the complexities of the U.S healthcare system. Its clinical teams of personal health advocates – including registered nurses, medical directors – offer confidential support to patients seeking second opinions through the Partners service, helping collect and submit medical records for physician review.
Online second-opinion services are growing in importance and maturity as connectivity among hospitals and health systems evolves. This month, for example, NewYork-Presbyterian expanded its own telehealth suite, which includes a similar service enabling NYP patients to consult with from other affiliated physicians across 80 specialties. Their doctors, meanwhile, can use the tool to enable virtual visits post-surgery and other care follow-ups.