San Diego, CA- May 13th, 2021
With approximately 77% of healthcare facilities across the U.S. using teleradiology services1, remote radiology has established its place in the medical landscape. Whether you are looking to outsource for the first time, or switching existing providers, this guide will help you select the best teleradiology solution for your needs.
Identify Your Teleradiology Needs
First and foremost, it is essential to determine what your radiology group or hospital’s needs are. Teleradiology is a great way to supplement the work of your on-site radiologists while maintaining quick turnaround times (TATs) at all hours. By pinpointing key aspects you are looking to improve or support, you can narrow down providers and streamline the decision-making process.
Common reasons healthcare facilities turn to teleradiology:
- Preventing radiologist burnout
- Catching up on study backlogs
- Off-hour access to radiologists
- Improve TATs and diagnosis speeds
- Access to subspecialty-trained radiologists
- Around the clock final report coverage
Once you have identified why you are searching for a teleradiology provider, you will be ready to examine how each service can help you achieve your goals.
Quality Reads, Reports and Radiologists
When looking to outsource reads, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality. Finding a telerad provider that can guarantee high-quality reads by high-quality radiologists should be at the top of your checklist.
Key identifiers of a quality teleradiology provider:
- Radiologists are Board Certified by ABR
- Radiologists have completed internships, residencies and fellowships
- Easy communication with radiologists who performed the reads if needed
- Provider is accredited by the Joint Commission
- 24/7/365 in-house client and technical support
- Long-term client references
Key differentiator: A great teleradiology service includes a quality assurance (QA) program with third party reviewers, daily spot-checking, administrative oversight, and transparent reporting.
Scalability and Room for Growth
Don’t get caught in a contract that could stunt growth. By ensuring your teleradiology provider can scale its services as your volumes increase, you will save yourself the headache down the road. Flexibility from your telerad provider aids and encourages growth and guarantees that they are a partner for the long haul. Even better, by providing subspecialty reads, your teleradiology provider can be a catalyst to growth by opening doors to diverse imaging opportunities.
Efficient Workflow for Easy Communication and Quick TATs
The workflow of your teleradiology provider should be clear and well-established, so it is easy for you to follow the trail of your studies as they make their way to radiologists. An elaborate routing scheme can get messy and increase turnaround times. A well-structured teleradiology provider will have workflow coordinators to assign studies to radiologists and connect calls to discuss results with referring physicians. Streamlined workflows allow for quicker TATs, easier avenues to speak with radiologists, and assurance that every case is completed and sent right back to your healthcare facility.
Secure Workflows and Data Protection
Advanced technology allows healthcare facilities to efficiently share studies with remote radiologists, but also poses a massive threat to patient information. Is your telerad provider able to ensure images are being transported securely? What steps are they taking to give you the assurance that patient information security is a top priority? How does their technology integrate with your current on-site infrastructure? Making sure your teleradiology provider has a resilient platform and reliable IT support will be the difference between a quick fix and a massive delay in patient care.
Technological features that set telerad providers apart:
- Encrypted image and information transportation, both in transit and at rest
- Excellent IT support 24/7/365 for minimal downtime
- Significant investment of time and money to improve IT
- Use of PACS/RIS built for specific teleradiology needs
- Simple implementation and integration- their workflow should be adaptable to your unique situation, not the other way around
A True Partner, Not a Competitor
Loyalty has withered in the industry today, with partners becoming competitors for hospital contracts from radiology groups they previously provided reads for. A provider who is unwilling to state their clear intentions in writing should be left in the dust when considering which telerad group is right for you. Preserve your contracts by picking a true partner who will continue to support you, rather than expel you from the equation.
The best teleradiology providers are experienced, reliable, and loyal to you! Ensure your patients and referring physicians continue to receive quality care by carefully selecting the provider best fit for your needs and goals.
With over 25 years of experience providing quality reads, quick TATs, and customized workflows, StatRad is a true partner you can count on to provide excellent patient care and teleradiology services. Contact us today to learn why StatRad is the best teleradiology provider for you!
Rosenkrantz, A. B., Hanna, T. N., Steenburg, S. D., Tarrant, M. J., Pyatt, R. S., & Friedberg, E. B. (2019). The Current State of Teleradiology Across the United States: A National Survey of Radiologists’ Habits, Attitudes, and Perceptions on Teleradiology Practice. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 16(12), 1677–1687. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2019.05.053