par Lauren Dubinsky
, Senior Reporter | June 25, 2018
From the June 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Improvements in technology
Mapping the history of teleradiology is a lot like mapping the history of the internet. As time passes, the speed and security have improved alongside the ease of use.
Today, teleradiology companies are securely connected to hospitals, so that images can be transferred safely. In addition to this, image transfer times are dramatically reduced, meaning the benefits are increased for providers using the service.
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“Back when teleradiology first started, a radiologist would need a T1 line installed in their house,” said Moritz. “Even at that time, transferring images was very slow with these multi-slice images that were being transferred. Today they can be compressed, delivered to us, and unzipped in a matter of seconds.”
ONRAD’s Freire added that the standardization of HL7 and DICOM allows teleradiology reports to be uploaded into the facility’s electronic medical record instantaneously for use by the ordering physician.
In the last three to four years, vRad has implemented a tool that provides the on-site radiologist with access to the company’s operation center via the platform’s reading workstation.
If a vRad teleradiologist dictates a positive critical finding, the platform recognizes via natural language process that there is a need to call the referring physician. A pop-up window then asks the radiologist if they would like to make the call.
“There is a very sophisticated implementation process that allows that functionality to happen, which improves the efficiency and accuracy of the interpretation and the quality of the outcome,” said Thomas.
Your choice of PACS matters
In nine months, Radiology Imaging Solutions, a Michigan-based teleradiology provider, doubled the number of imaging sites it provides reads for, increased productivity by 400 percent and reduced report turnaround times by more than 50 percent. They credit the dramatic improvement to replacing an antiquated PACS system with Konica Minolta’s Exa PACS.
“Our old system was slow, client-based, hardware-dependent, resource-demanding and revenue-depleting versus Exa being web-based, hardware-independent and extremely fast with server-side rendering,” said Randy Robinson, owner of Radiology Imaging Solutions.
Konica Minolta's server-side rendering technology allows radiologists to read large files, such as 3D mammography, faster because they don’t have to wait for a study to load.
“The radiologist can complete an interpretation in one-fourth the time with Exa compared to our prior PACS,” said Robinson.