Critical access hospitals serve a vital need for nearly 20% of the population in America. Even as urban areas continue to gain more density, there are vast rural areas still inhabited by people who need access to healthcare and rely almost solely on their nearest critical access hospital. Unfortunately, these facilities often lack adequate radiology and other imaging services.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, there is an  “overall scarcity of access to imaging services existing in critical access hospitals throughout the U.S.” And with the majority of these people relying solely upon their nearest critical access hospital for care, it is clear that adopting new technology that fills the service void will be a priority.

Lack of Support

Rural areas historically lack the scale of human resources required to offer everything residents in urban areas are provided. This is true in many areas of healthcare, including radiology. And while some critical access hospitals can provide high-end services such as MRI or super high-resolution radiology services like 3D tomography, there aren’t always radiologists available to read exams.

This isn’t a problem strictly confined to the rural areas, as urban providers can also get bogged down with cases that need to be sent out through telehealth services like teleradiology. Critical access hospitals can also benefit with this solution. Rather than having a patient commute to a larger urban facility, their exam can simply be sent off to a trusted teleradiology service.

Lack of Accountability

One of the biggest challenges in teleradiology is that radiology professionals at the hospital experience a loss of control when they send off an image. There is a general lack of visibility into the process, with little information about the status of the reading, including who has it and when it will return. Furthermore, should the priority of exams change, there’s no communication conduit through which such changes can be relayed.

Choosing a Better Method

Rather than risk adopting a teleradiology solution that doesn’t have the features you need and could possibly leave you in a lurch, consider partnering with a vendor that has years of experience with this service and has a more customer-centric approach.

At OffSite Image Management, we’ve developed a solution to all the problems hospitals face with traditional teleradiology. Our TeleRAD360 gets its name through our 360-degree approach to the process, which involves full visibility into every step of the method. We make changing exam priorities easy and our clients enjoy a sense of accountability when they implement our solution. We’ve assisted critical care hospitals for years, so contact us today and let’s talk about your needs.