By Marcia Frellick
Second opinions led to recommended changes in diagnosis or treatment for more than 40% of participants in a program that offers them free of charge to employees and their beneficiaries. The effect of second opinions on clinical outcomes remains unclear, however.
The second opinions, which have been suggested as a strategy to prevent diagnostic and treatment errors, were estimated to have a moderate or major clinical effect on diagnosis in 20.9% of cases, and on treatment in 30.7% of cases.
Results from this study, performed by Ashley Meyer, PhD, from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Houston, Texas, and colleagues, were published online April 23 in the American Journal of Medicine.