Physician-to-Physician Virtual Consultations Signal New Era of Mobile Patient Care

UCLA Medical Faculty Practice Group Joins Leading U.S. Medical Centers Using PinnacleCare Service to Prevent Medical Errors and Provide Access to Advanced Healthcare Options

BALTIMORE, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- PinnacleCare, a private health advisory, announced today that UCLA Medical Faculty Practice Group has joined the cadre of the nation's leading medical faculty that subscribe to its rapidly growing Virtual Consultation service. This virtual service, a proprietary, web-based, physician-to-physician platform, provides thought-leading practitioners the opportunity to share expertise and best practices from anywhere in the world. Virtual Consultations provide physicians seeking second opinions on behalf of their patients protection and peace of mind that their patients are getting the best healthcare possible, from the most qualified specialists anywhere in the world.

Second opinions are highly recommended to avoid misdiagnoses, medical errors and unnecessary procedures. Studies indicate that misdiagnoses rates in the United States can be as high as 40 percent, and roughly half of these may have prevented the patient from receiving life saving treatment. Medical errors are estimated to be responsible for between 44,000 and 98,000 unnecessary deaths in hospitals yearly.

"The breadth and depth of expertise among our partners is undeniably world-class and UCLA's faculty addition makes our virtual network even stronger," said Dr. Miles J. Varn, Chief Medical Officer of PinnacleCare. "Without even traveling, our members can access, through our medical directors, the best physicians around the world to receive critical second opinion guidance and additional treatment options and diagnoses. This, in turn, may reduce the risk of medical errors and unnecessary procedures."

Developed in partnership with Collaborative Medical Technology Corporation (CMTC), PinnacleCare's specialized technology platform enables physicians to view a patient's relevant medical records, diagnosis and treatment plans and radiology images in DICOM providing high-definition diagnostic quality, readable on any Internet-ready device. Interaction between the physicians is provided through a secure web portal to maximize accuracy, privacy and efficiency. PinnacleCare medical experts facilitate the entire process and provide a detailed explanation of the consultation to the patient and the treating physician.

Dr. Mark Brown, Chairman Emeritus of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine, has worked with PinnacleCare using Virtual Consultations and believes, "PinnacleCare's Virtual Consultation service has helped extend the reach of our experience and expertise through a highly-informed, efficient and technologically advanced service. I've reviewed cases where patients about to undergo surgery were saved from an unnecessary procedure, and those that have been made aware of advanced treatments or different approaches all because they were able to access a critical second medical opinion."

A Virtual Consultation between PinnacleCare Medical Directors and physicians at leading medical institutions is one of many high-touch, high-tech, cutting-edge services offered by PinnacleCare. The company currently facilitates five to ten Virtual Consultations per month, and the number of partnering medical institutions continues to expand. UCLA joins a growing number of faculty at Centers of Excellence that offer such a service in one form or another including: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Emory University Hospital, University of Miami Hospital, Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill Cornell.

About PinnacleCare

PinnacleCare, the premier health advisory firm, is dedicated to connecting individuals to the world's most advanced healthcare, providing access to the top physicians, advising them on all medical issues and managing their interactions with the healthcare system. Each member family is assigned PinnacleCare Health Advisors available 24/7 who coordinate the family's healthcare, consolidate all records into PinnacleCare's Electronic Health Records solution for instant availability, conduct best practices research and collaborate with top medical specialists worldwide. PinnacleCare is the only company to offer comprehensive health advisory – from disease prevention and wellness management to superior medical response and treatment in times of emergency, injury or illness. For more information, visit

SOURCE PinnacleCare