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Teleradiology Proves as a Reliable, Efficient and Economically Viable Services for All Stakeholders

The discovery of Radiology by Wilhelm Roentgen, Professor of Physics at University of Wurzburg, Germany in 1895; has revolutionized the way trauma and illnesses are diagnosed and treated. Today, Radiology is not only aiding the diagnostic skills of the physician but also used for quantitative measurement of anatomic and functional processes, image-guided invasive interventional procedures, and an assessment of functional / performance of the organs.

Technology and Teleradiology:

Teleradiology integrated with advanced technology is capable of delivering rapid, reliable, real-time healthcare services without any delay/interruptions irrespective of the geographical limitations and access to specialized reporting services. The digital radiological images are compatible to be viewed on different electronic mediums (electronic monitor/display, note pads, mobile). The radiological image reaches the Radiologist’s workstation without any subsequent intervention for enhancement and review. Various software (PACS & DICOM standards) and hardware support the whole system in maintaining the quality of the image during the process (acquisition, transmission, storage, retrieval); and different compression techniques are employed to contain huge data and maintain the integrity of the digital images. Healthcare service delivery with quality, promptness, correct diagnosis, and appropriate treatment adds to the patient’s satisfaction. This whole system encompasses reliability, efficiency, and economically valued services for every stakeholder.

  • Reliability: The protocols, technology-based systems, and multimedia-driven communication channels have made Teleradiology one of the reliable medical services. The other contributing factors are quality of reports, access to a range of tele-reporting services (nighthawk/subspecialty / after-hour services/emergency / second opinion/weekend), experiences and expertise of the radiologists. And this reliability is intangible. It supports the referring physician or emergency department in real-time similar to on-site radiologist whereas for the centers (primary/secondary) present in rural or in geographically challenging places (for e.g., mountain terrains) it provides the physician in delivering medical care without any delay, helps the patient in deciding on transfer (trauma/emergency) or shift to a tertiary center, and encourages the efficient use of the healthcare facilities. 
  • Efficiency: Time is a crucial factor in patient care delivery. Teleradiology contributes to it by enabling Physician to take important decisions and delivering prompt services. It improves the Emergency department’s capacity & throughput whereas, in multispecialty tertiary hospitals, it works out as an alternate coverage for after-hours / vacation/weekends and plays important role in clearing the department’s stack. Teleradiology enhances the efficiency of healthcare centers (Secondary / Primary / Diagnostic centers) by facilitating patient care without delay, providing access to subspecialty reporting, handling postoperative complications, and reducing the readmission rates.
  • Economical, low-budget solutions with high value for money have been encouraging and are one of the main reasons for constant transformation and adaptation of teleradiology in line with the technology and demand in medical services. Every stakeholder, be it patient or hospital management or radiologist or treating physician gains reasonably from Teleradiology. The satisfied patient adds a competitive and winning edge to serving medical facilities.  

–     Clinically, the Physician is able to gain patient confidence and satisfaction by delivering prompt patient care with accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

–     Radiologists are able to manage better work-life balance and have networked with sub-specialty radiologists.

–     Hospital management wins in multiple ways; efficiently provides medical services round the clock, handles emergency / critical cases without added costs or overheads, delivers patient care without any delay/interruption. And thereby succeed in achieving popularity with word-of-mouth promotion through satisfied patients.

–     Patients are the ultimate beneficiary of this whole system with prompt medical care which not only saves time and money but also lives. Availability of imaging reports at once provides an option to decide on many things like treatment plan/necessity to travel or shift to a specialized center, organizing fund, and emotional support.

Cloudex Radiology Solutions backs the quick TAT with reliability and efficiency…

Cloudex’s panel of qualified, experienced, and expert teleradiologists are capable of providing the interpretation of the radiological image with accuracy and profoundness in details that aid in the revelation of the underlying cause of abnormalities. Our team stands up to the statement on quality as briefed in Radiographics, 2011. 31(6): p. 1511-27 – Quality in radiology is multi-dimensional and includes measuring, monitoring and improving various aspects of the workflow, including examination appropriateness, procedure protocol, the accuracy of interpretation, timely communication of imaging results as well as performance improvements in safety and efficiency”. We, at Cloudex work with the hospitals / diagnostic centers as a team in ensuring quality patient care from the point of entry, through scan to report delivery by involving the reporting radiologist at each stage ensuring the right protocol, adequacy, and safety of procedure while delivering the accurate interpretation within expected TAT.

Cloudex along with its reliable and efficient team delivers teleradiology services and helps its referring physician or medical facility in winning more satisfied patients as a winning edge in this competitive field.

At Cloudex, we support you to have that winning edge.

Teleradiology Services India

Quality in Teleradiology Reporting

Quality is the extent to which the right procedure is done in the right way at the right time, and the correct interpretation is accurately and quickly communicated to the patient and referring physician.” Hillman et al

Teleradiology is playing a crucial role in delivering patient care with its prompt and quality service.

The quality of radiological reporting depends on multiple parameters apart from the internal review and external feedback system like

  • Communication between the reporting radiologists and referring physician for better understanding of the case
  • PACS and workflow management
  • Operational team (CTC)
  • Access to reporting tele-radiologist for clarification / discussion

The Internal Parameters can be listed as –

1. Internal Quality Assurance Team sets up an auditing system involving methodology on random review of the reports and peer reviews at regular intervals. The key performance indicators (KPIs) are prepared by the team in alignment with the organization’s objective and external auditor’s standards (if involved). The experts evaluate the reporting by carrying out random double reporting, peer review, and discuss the discrepancies with reporting radiologists.

Evaluation of the discrepancies, formulation, and implementation of corrective measures followed by evaluation of implementation is a cyclic process in order to improve the quality of report and service delivery. The option of contacting the reported tele-radiologist for further clarification and discussion on prognosis is available. 

The new recruits are initially engaged in preliminary reporting for familiarization with the tele-reporting system and are supported with constant review and feedback. This also involves eLearning, teleconferencing, telemedicine, and other technological processes.

2. Procedure Protocol indicates the Right Procedure & Right Way which impacts many other parameters. The protocol includes a checklist drafted by the team on imaging procedures, image uploading/transfer, availability of support documents, defined TAT for emergency & regular cases, filled request form, to & fro communication between the referring physician and reporting radiologists, assigning of images to radiologists, etc.

3. Credentials of the tele-radiologists including the sub-specialization and experience per se augment the value of the report. In critical cases like emergency / STAT reporting, the unique skill of picking up the hidden markers in a short time plays a critical or decisive role. Their clinical focus in reporting improves referring physician’s proficiency to advise or decide on suitable investigations/management of patients. 

4. TAT is variable and crucial for referring physicians in taking control of the situation, be it for emergency or regular cases. Today, because of the technological benefits, the TAT for an emergency case is approximately less than 30 minutes whereas for any inpatient or outpatient 4 to 8 hours is maintained. Especially in teleradiology, the other factor which determines the TAT is mutual agreement between the service provider & referring center and considering cost factor as well.

5.  Miss Rate is determined by continuous reviewing of reports at regular intervals by the review panel and a lot of measures are undertaken to keep it low. The positive culture of the review panel establishes an environment that is instructive, supporting cognitive debiasing and retrospective analyses. Clients are also encouraged to report “misses” by categorizing them based on their implicating severity. Feedback and discussions with referring physicians help in the process. 

The External Parameters which can be considered are

1.  Client’s feedback system serves two purposes – understanding the quality of report and reporting services although both (service provider and referring center) would have laid down the SOPs to be followed at either end. The upload of images of other recently conducted investigations, along with other laboratory, pathology reports and previous documents like discharge summary / clinical and operational notes helps in the accurate and detailed interpretation of the images.

2.  Accreditations by the authoritative body confirms compliance with protocols set by the authority matching the industry requirement and benefitting every stakeholder. Inspections are conducted to check the protocol implementation and service delivery at regular intervals and the certification is renewed accordingly. If any discrepancy is noticed, a Plan of Correction (POC) is provided with the timeline for implementation.

Cloudex Solutions ensuring the right procedure, the right way, right time, and correct interpretation

A team comprising of qualified experts like radiologists, clinicians, and technologists who are well supported with state-of-the-art RIS PACS technology, round the clock (24 x 7 x 365) reporting services complement to the client’s advantage.  The objective of doing the right thing at right time in the right way is achieved by integrating programs to adhere to protocol, utilize the quality improvement tools, and conduct of skill up-gradation workshops.  

Cloudex brimming with experts and a wide range of tele-reporting services ensures delivery of the correct interpretation at right time in the right way; enabling the healthcare service provider to deliver quality patient care without delay and assuring proper treatment saving on time and money.

At Cloudex, we support you to have that winning edge. 

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