Mayo Clinic eConsult: A Convenient, Cost-Effective Second Opinion

Electronic consultation offers convenient second opinion

A second opinion from a Mayo Clinic specialist is available to St. Elizabeth patients through an electronic consultation called an eConsult. An eConsult does not require the patient to be seen by a Mayo Clinic specialist, so no additional appointment with Mayo Clinic is needed and there is no additional cost to the patient.

St. Elizabeth can offer its patients eConsults because it is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network – a collaboration that connects physicians to benefit patients. St. Elizabeth was the first healthcare facility in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana to pass the Mayo Clinic’s rigorous review process to earn membership in a network of experts dedicated to improving the delivery of care, which now includes more than 40 healthcare systems across the country.

“A second opinion can make people feel more comfortable with their diagnosis,” said Dr. Lawrence Brennan, Oncologist and Hematologist with St. Elizabeth. “It’s a good way to satisfy yourself and your patient that you’ve done all you can.”

An eConsult does not require the patient to be seen by a Mayo Clinic specialist, so no additional appointment with Mayo Clinic is needed. The process is convenient, cost-effective and fast:

  • Information is sent electronically to and from Mayo Clinic through a secure online portal.
  • Medical records, lab and test results, imaging and any other needed documents remain confidential throughout the entire process.
  • Specialists at Mayo Clinic review the physician’s notes and pertinent medical records and share their opinion on the most effective course of action.

For patients, it’s a way to continue to receive their care locally from the St. Elizabeth team. For physicians, an eConsult is a way to work together with Mayo Clinic specialists to determine the best treatment plan for the patient.

Dr. Brennan estimates using eConsults in about two-thirds of his cases. “I request eConsult more often. Our patients can go out of network and not pay extra for a second opinion,” said Dr. Brennan. “I do eConsults more often than a more traditional second opinion. It’s an easier and more cost effective way to get feedback on an aspect of care I’d like another opinion about.”

“I’ve never heard anyone say they’re upset with getting a second opinion,” he said. “It’s always helpful. It’s never a bad thing to have someone look over your shoulder and comment on the care you’re giving. It reassures the patient and helps them feel more secure in their diagnosis.”

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