Collaboration provides second opinion with no cost to patient
Increased peace of mind is just one of the benefits electronic consultations with Mayo Clinic provide for patients and their physicians, according to Dr. Magdalena Winiarska, Rheumatologist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
Dr. Winiarska uses eConsults – a service provided through the Mayo Clinic Care Network that connects St. Elizabeth physicians with Mayo Clinic physicians for consultation and additional feedback about their patients’ care. St. Elizabeth was the first healthcare facility in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana to pass Mayo Clinic’s rigorous review process to earn membership in the network, which now includes nearly 40 healthcare systems around the world.
“It’s great to have that additional resource,” said Dr. Winiarska. “It’s a good way to have a second set of eyes look at my more challenging cases.”
An eConsult does not require the patient to be seen by a Mayo Clinic specialist, so no additional appointment with Mayo Clinic is needed. Information is sent electronically to and from Mayo Clinic through a secure online portal. This method allows medical records, labs, imaging and any other needed documents to remain confidential while being shared safely and securely. The specialists at Mayo Clinic review the patient’s medical history and share their opinion on the most effective course of action.
Patients continue to receive their care from their St. Elizabeth team and there is no additional cost to the patient.
Getting a second opinion with an eConsult is a fast and convenient way to collaborate with other experts, according to Dr. Winiarska. “It can sometimes be a long wait to get a second opinion locally. Mayo Clinic is always faster.”
For patients with complicated medical conditions, an eConsult can be a convenient, cost-effective way to double-check their diagnosis with no travel and no out-of-pocket expense. “It gives them confidence we’re on the right track,” said Dr. Winiarska. “It’s a good way for everyone to get peace of mind.”