The technological revolution has brought us so many inventions which have made our lives extremely easier. Especially, when we think about medical sciences, technological advances have made healthcare facilities in the USA more accessible, improved, and convenient. Teleradiology is one such medical advancement. It has made the examination of medical images possible without the physical presence of any radiologist.
In this article, we are going to look at what teleradiology means, some of its benefits, and how to choose the best teleradiology service. The article is going to be very informative so read the full article without skipping any section.
What Is Teleradiology?
In teleradiology, medical image interpretation is done by radiologists who are not physically present at the site where the images are created. Many hospitals, mobile imaging businesses, urgent care centers, and even some private clinics outsource teleradiology services. To understand what teleradiology means in its complete sense, we will have to first define radiology. Physicians utilize the imaging technology known as radiology to capture images of the inside organs of the body. Usually, this is carried out in order to diagnose or treat the patients. Some common examples of this body imaging include X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds.
Radiology can now have the prefix “tele” added. You must have heard about the telephone, what a telephone is? It enables us to communicate with others from a distant location. If we use it in reference to teleradiology, it denotes the sending of scanned body images to a separate site. Radiologists and doctors are located in a different areas from where the photos are obtained. They receive the images as well as the studies that have been done on the images through the internet.
Teleradiology was exclusively utilized in emergencies until relatively recently. The practice began to spread quickly after the internet was invented. We saw a significant increase in these services during the time of covid pandemic. Now, there are computer programs made especially for sending radiological images. Due to such advancements, teleradiology has been and will continue to become a prominent medical profession.
Benefits Of Teleradiology Services
Now that we have understood what teleradiology is, let us take a quick look at its major benefits. There are many benefits of teleradiology services but some of the most significant are listed below:
- Cost-effective: The basic rationale for using teleradiology is that having a radiologist at the location of the hospital is expensive. However, if you use a teleradiology service, you can pay for each exam separately, with some exams costing as little as $8- $10. It can result in significant savings for facilities that need round-the-clock assistance or for those with a small number of radiology patients.
- Accessible 24/7: Access to skilled professionals is made available by teleradiology on a continuous 24/7 basis. It improves the patient care efficiency.
- Professional and specialized: A skilled radiologist can read specific images and find information that could save lives, which is another significant advantage of teleradiology. Untrained eyes might not interpret a cancerous growth seen by ultrasonography in any meaningful way. Though, a skilled radiologist might be able to tell that it’s cancer.
How To Choose The Best Teleradiology Service?
Now if you want to enjoy all the benefits mentioned above, you have to select a good teleradiology service provider. There are so many teleradiology service providers in the USA and they all claim to be the very best. It might confuse hospitals, clinics, and emergency facilities to choose the best teleradiology service. However, there are a few important factors that you can consider if you are looking for a good teleradiology service. Some of these factors are mentioned below:
- Quality: Your first concern when selecting a teleradiology service should be quality. You need a service that can interpret your patient’s images in a trustworthy and error-free manner. Choose a teleradiology service that employs board-certified radiologists with expertise in your area of medicine. They must have a lot of experience in analyzing medical scans, and their interpretations ought to adhere to accepted guidelines.
- Turnaround time: The amount of time it takes the teleradiology provider to evaluate and convey on your patient’s images is known as the turnaround time. Faster turnaround times are preferable since they enable prompt diagnoses and treatments. The turnaround time of the teleradiology service you select should be quick and effective, ideally 24 hours or less. Additionally, it’s crucial to check that the teleradiology business has an emergency mechanism in place where they can deliver interpretations within a day or two. This is significant in emergency situations where prompt diagnosis is essential.
- Communication: Another essential factor to take into account when selecting a teleradiology service is communication. For the service to guarantee that its clients’ interpretations are true and timely, it needs to have a system for communicating with them. The teleradiology service should have a structure in place for receiving client feedback and responding to any queries or issues they may have. It is crucial to pick a teleradiology service with an effective communication infrastructure that makes communication simple and quick. Depending on your choices and requirements, this could involve email, phone calls, or even video conferencing.
- Technical support: It is a crucial factor to take into account when selecting a teleradiology service. The service should have a specialized technical support staff that is available around the clock to help with any problems or issues that may emerge with the technology or something else.
- Integration with your EMR system: Choosing a teleradiology service should take integration with your Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system into account. Your EMR system should be able to seamlessly transmit patient photos and reports, thus the service you choose should be able to do the same. Integration with your EMR system can speed up operations and reduce errors because it does not require manual data entry.
- Customization: Another crucial factor to take into account when selecting a teleradiology service is customization. You want a service that can be altered to satisfy your unique wants and specifications. Customizing the reporting structure, the turnaround time, or even the amount of knowledge needed can be included in this.