Radiology professionals know teleradiology is not a new technology/way of handling image studies, but when the pandemic unleashed upon the public, teleradiology became the avenue for continuing to study images, but more safely than in the traditional work environment.
When it became clear that social distancing was going to help contain COVID-19, the workforce adopted new means of putting in their workday. From home, they began using video conferencing and many other electronic solutions to remain an effective part of the workplace puzzle. Teleradiology became that for healthcare providers: According to Radiology Society of North America, case volumes went down in the early days of the pandemic, but nearly overnight, teleradiology became a hot topic and much-used channel.
Healthcare professionals found that with the right infrastructure in place, they were able to make the transition from working at the imaging center or radiology department to their homes. While there remain some restrictions for viewing high-tech breast imaging, almost all other file types were able to be read remotely.
Using High-Quality Services
Not all telehealth solutions are made alike. In fact, some teleradiology solutions go above and beyond what others offer, including analytics, reporting, a high degree of visibility and build-in RIS.
In the ideal situation, you would be outfitted with a teleradiology solution that moves through the following workflow:
- A technologist completes the exam and sends it to the teleradiology vendor.
- The vendor makes the study available via the cloud and it is viewable in a completely browser-agnostic, zero-footprint viewer.
- A technologist reviews the study, makes appropriate modifications, uploads paperwork and sends private messages to the reading radiologist.
- A radiologist views the exam after it is approved by the technologist.
- The radiologist can view priors and notes associated with the current exam.
- Dozens of templates are available, as well as custom templates for dictation.
- The report is delivered and can be accessed easily through any EMR.
- Reports can be read and tracked for optimal performance.
Again, not all teleradiology solutions will offer this degree of visibility. For example, if you have a priority change on a study, you probably have no way of knowing whom to contact about the change, which means you simply have to wait on the report. With the best teleradiology solutions, you can easily upgrade the priority of a study.
At OffSite Image Management, we offered a high-quality teleradiology solution before the pandemic hit. Our clients have always been able to respond to a rapidly changing priority level. They’ve also been able to put control of the diagnostic images back into the hands of the hospital, which is one of the biggest perks in choosing TeleRAD360, OffSite’s teleradiology solution. Find out more about how we approach this topic by visiting our teleradiology page.