Physician-First Approach Delivers on Specialists’ Values and Drives Access

Updated on May 1, 2024

Physicians are the most trusted party in health care. Seventy-four percent of adults consider physicians trustworthy—the highest of any profession. In an increasingly complicated health care environment with limited resources, physicians across disciplines are seeking new ways to help their patients and each other. Specialists want to connect with patients more deeply, investigate the most challenging cases, and collaborate with their peers—but much of specialists’ time is consumed with activities that don’t deliver real value to them or their patients. New models and sophisticated virtual care technology are addressing these challenges and offering new opportunities for physicians everywhere.

Aligning with Physicians’ Values

Virtual care focused in specialty care, coupled with innovative models, is changing health care for the better. Using a marketplace model approach that attracts appropriate talent at the moment of need, the right specialists can be matched with patients, quickly, and from anywhere in the world, for high quality health care interactions to improve patient access and outcomes. Importantly, it supports the values on which specialists have centered their careers, mainly:

  • Specialists are humanitarians. They want the best outcome for every patient, and they find value and fulfillment in empowering patients to make informed decisions about their care. Today, patients can wait up to five months to see a specialist—and appointments average close to ten minutes. Virtual care, powered by marketplace dynamics, can solve the access problem by reducing the wait to days or hours for patients, and create valuable experiences for physicians.
  • Specialists value diverse physician perspectives and collaboration. Working with peers to gain knowledge and insight is part of medicine, and importantly, can optimize patient care.Virtual care for specialists can also take the form of peer eConsults, virtual curbside consultations, or remote second opinions, all of which give doctors and patients quick, efficient, collaborative access to the medical expertise they need.

A marketplace model combined with powerful, elegant technology eliminates administrative burdens and ensures that physicians are available to patients and each other quickly and easily, generating better health outcomes at lower costs. 

Accelerating Access to High Quality Expertise 

A virtual marketplace is very simply a platform that attracts doctors to provide their expertise to patients and families in a timely and high quality manner and solves for patient needs across the continuum of care. This model supports access to a deep, curated network of leading specialists from top medical institutions and also transcends barriers to health care access:

  • Better access. Better outcomes. Patients benefit from shorter wait times to connect with best-in-class specialists who provide clinical guidance, advocacy support, and navigation. Quick access to the right specialists supports better decision-making, faster diagnoses and more effective treatment paths, all resulting in better health outcomes, reduced ER and unnecessary office visits and tests. 
  • Global availability across all specialties. A marketplace model accelerates access to high quality medical expertise across all health concerns and conditions—from anywhere in the world. No longer constrained by the scarcity of specialists in their local area, patients and families can connect to a broad network of high-quality specialists which also removes the limitations and costs of distance, travel, and time off work. 
  • Health care experiences focused on human connection. Because of the efficiencies of virtual care and feeling valued for their time, specialists can spend more time with patients, families and caregivers, and provide personalized guidance and education that empowers them to make more informed health care decisions. 

Specialty care is more accessible than ever before

By addressing what matters to physicians, and informed by their realities of health care delivery, a tech-enabled marketplace model for specialty care can reshape and improve our entire health care system and help solve for where the cost and complexity exists. Using this model, we drive better access, better decisions, and better outcomes across the continuum of care.

Julian Flannery
CEO and Founder at Summus

Julian Flannery, Founder and CEO of Summus, previously served on the management team and was Managing Director, Global Research at Gerson Lehrman Group, the world's largest membership-based platform for professional expertise. He oversaw GLG's service operation, products, and content, and directed management of its 400,000+ expert membership base. He formerly worked at Morgan Stanley as Associate and Chief of Staff to the Chairman & CEO and in Special Situations and Investment Banking. In 2001, he served in The White House as an aid to the Chief of Staff to the President. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and A.B. in Economics from Duke University.