Teleradiology is a perfect example of how technology can benefit healthcare delivery. It had radically improved the turn-around-time of reports and has made the services of sub-specialty radiologists available to all irrespective of locations. Thus teleradiology helps provide timely and quality reports to physicians and add value to efficient patient management. In any hospital, a majority of radiology studies are ordered through emergency department. And it is the interpretation of these studies that are unambiguously greatly affected by turn-around-time and quality because these emergency cases involve some of the most life-threatening conditions.
Timeliness and Accuracy:
In emergency department, two critical factors are the timeliness and accuracy of reports because both affect the cycle of patient management. With the help of teleradiology services, it is possible for any hospital to get access to timely reports even after normal working hours and on weekends or holidays. Moreover, by providing the partner hospitals an option to mark studies as ‘STAT’ and by creating a well-defined protocol of reporting ER cases with immediate priority, teleradiology has definitely come a long way over the years.
To ensure quality of reports, it is necessary that the teleradiology services are being provided by qualified radiologists. To know more on what checkpoints should be considered before choosing a teleradiology partner, read our previous post here.
Immediate and effective communication – especially of critical findings like Aortic Rupture, Acute haemorrhage, acute hematoma, acute brain infarcts etc. – is very crucial. It helps physicians in making quick treatment decisions that can be life-saving in the emergency departments. A documented protocol for communication of critical findings is common in teleradiology.
Also, use of technology and advanced workflow solutions used in teleradiology allow simultaneous viewing and discussion of complex studies by radiologists and clinicians. Although on the flip side, teleradiology does make reporting internet-dependent.
To sum up, there is a definite advantage of having teleradiology services for any hospital, in general and for Emergency department, in particular. Teleradiology has a huge value proposition; it benefits emergency medical care and improves patient management.