Hopefully you have all had a chance to enjoy a little summer rest and relaxation before we all head back into the busy season. I know you are short on time so we will share some brief updates that may be helpful to you and your practice. This year we have been focused on “getting our house in order”. We have made a few changes that we believe will help everyone.

OUR WEBSITE IS BACK!

Our website has been restored and placed on an updated platform. Our “News” page will be continually changing with new content and educational resources that should be of use to you and your practice. Keep an eye on this page.

Please take a moment to check in and read about our newest programs and staff members. We would like you to be aware of our staff members and how talented they are. They are all here to help.

HELP DESK

Many of you already know we have a new help desk email. By sending your issues or questions to this address a “ticket” is created so we can prioritize incoming requests and track them appropriately until they are resolved. This has been a much more organized and efficient way to deal with issues. Thank you for participating. As always, if you need to speak with someone you are welcome to call.

NEW STAFF

Please welcome our newest staff members. Their educational information may be found on our website.

  • Dr. Jordan Toman is a specialist in Women’s imaging and the incoming head of our mammography program.
  • Dr. Jeremy Havas is a general radiologist with special expertise in PET imaging.
  • Dr. Philip McDonald is a nationally known expert in Musculoskeletal imaging. He also serves as an NBA Medical TV analyst.
  • Stephen S. Johnston MD, MBA, is a recently trained physician who brings an MBA & Health Management skills to the group.

We are in the process of adding other additional members as well and will update our website once those decisions are finalized.

Please give them a warm welcome as they become acquainted with you and our system. Do not hesitate to ask them a question if an issue arises.

If you are a radiologist interested in joining our team please send us an email at info@strategicimaging.flywheelsites.com. We look forward to speaking with you.

THANK YOU!

A big thank you to our three administrators, Rachael Radosta, Ashley Summey and Judy Tyler. We have made some very big changes this year, and with the help of these three wonderful staff members have gotten the job done.

Many of their accomplishments are completed behind the screen of the PACS worklist and may go unnoticed to most. This year they have re-configured our network to replace VPNs with route manager software, organized our archive infrastructure, helped create and establish a functional structured reporting system, created a billing program for an urgent care chain and a multispecialty clinic and have helped us initiate a turnaround time (TAT) project that has helped us track TAT and deliver our reports in a faster and more efficient way.

Those of you who work with them know how special they are. In addition, they have accomplished all of the feats listed above while solving daily problems, setting up new clients and on-boarding new staff members. Please join me in giving them a round of applause. They deserve it.

COMING SOON…STRUCTURED REPORTING

Many of our ultrasound clients will soon be receiving a “structured report”. These are radiology reports that automatically include many measurements that are made by the technologists in a very efficient manner. This should provide us all with a standardized report and less voice recognition errors. There will be some details to work out and we appreciate all of you that will be working with us to make this happen. Expect a call from us to assist you with setting up this functionality on your ultrasound equipment.

CARDIOLOGY

Many of you may not know that one of our staff members, Dr. Torelli, is a cardiologist and not a radiologist. He has been instrumental in helping us develop our structured reports for echocardiography. He is available to read echocardiograms, ECGs, and myocardial perfusion studies if you have the need.

NEW SERVICES

This year we have begun performing several new exams to help our clients enhance their practices. These include:

  • Lung Screen CT
  • Calcium Scoring CT
  • Pre-operative Makoplasty CTs for surgical planning
  • Fibroscans for a clinical trials program
  • Venous mapping pre and post endovascular ablation
  • Custom Clinical Trials reporting
  • Echocardiography and EKG reporting

Medicine is changing and so are we! We are on the move and happy to participate in caring for the needs of all your patients. If you have an idea and would like to discuss a new service please let us know.

This year has been an opportunity to get organized and we are taking full advantage of it. We are determined to grow and provide additional unique and improved services. We are very interested in continuing to grow our MRI, Mammography, Echocardiology, Clinical Trials and Ultrasound programs. We have years of experience in mobile imaging and teleradiology services and can assist you if you have any questions.

Thank you to all our clients. It is a real privilege and pleasure to work with you and care for your patients.

By Dr. John Feole, AuntMinnie.com contributing writer

February 18, 2014 — The ability to transmit digital radiologic examinations has radically changed how radiologists practice medicine over the past two decades. The ability to move exams quickly, securely, and inexpensively has made this a practical solution for hospitals and radiology practices.

Many of us trained before digital imaging was an option. All analog film was read in-house, and many hours were spent processing films. Some new radiology graduates have never read a nondigital film, and they’ve never had to drive back to the hospital to read a CT performed after hours. These exams can now be quickly processed and transferred to any location where an expert can review the study. We have come a long, long way, and it’s very easy to forget what the world of radiology was like only 20 years ago.

As a radiologist, I truly believe the majority of us will always want to do what is best for the patient, regardless of monetary gain. That is the way we were trained, and that is how it should be. “How would you treat a family member?” The answer to that question is how you should treat your patients.

In 2014, the economy is strained, healthcare costs are high, and more patients than ever need care. This is why we need to create a “win-win-win” environment. A successful relationship is based on that foundation: a win for the patient, the provider, and the radiologist. They must coexist.

Enhancing local practices
I believe working with a good teleradiology practice is an opportunity for a local group to enhance and support its practice. Being on call every other night and working the next day is very difficult. Allowing someone you trust to care for your patients during the off-hours may make the local radiologist’s practice sustainable. This, in turn, will lead to better clinician and patient interactions.

When interacting with any teleradiology firm or partner, a noncompete should be signed so there is no threat of being displaced. Likewise, teleradiology rates must be competitive to be sustainable. A local group and/or hospital cannot lose money buying coverage. The teleradiology services should be transparent.

Another potential benefit of teleradiology is access to subspecialty reading that may not be offered onsite. Perhaps the local radiologist would like certain exams to be read by a specialist. This improves patient care and reflects well on the hospital and the radiology practice.

A teleradiology service can also improve your report turnaround time by reading the backlog after hours or by working in conjunction with the day staff to improve efficiency. Similar to an onsite radiologist, a remote radiologist can protocol exams, speak with patients and technologists, and assist with accreditation and marketing services. Email and instant messaging make communication instantaneous.

Misconceptions about teleradiology
There are a number of misconceptions about teleradiology that I would like to explore.

“Teleradiologists read too quickly.”
Radiologists all read at different speeds. A fast reader will do so regardless of his or her reading environment. A teleradiologist may have a long worklist and some stat cases to call, but it really is a relatively calm environment overall to work in.

For in-house radiologists, it’s not uncommon to multitask from the minute they walk in the door through late in the day, often working through lunch. Having a growing worklist of cases, a technologist at the door with a question, a referring doctor on the phone, and a patient waiting for you in fluoro simultaneously is commonplace.

I respect the radiologists who do this, and they should be paid handsomely for it. It’s not easy, but a good radiologist can juggle these demands. A teleradiologist may be of great assistance to someone working solo in this situation.

“It is unclear whether teleradiologists practice high-quality radiology.”
Teleradiologists should be subject to the same rigorous screening and hiring process that any medical practice would utilize. Board-certified physicians with appropriate training and state licensing should be screened and background checks should be run for verification.

Performance, peer review, and American College of Radiology compliance are necessary for monitoring the health of your services. In addition, radiologists choosing this career path are often very well-trained, as obtaining these positions can be competitive. This combination of activities should result in the same quality of care received in any other radiology practice.

“A teleradiology company’s primary goal is profit.”
This generalization could be said of any hospital, radiology practice, university, or business. Practicing quality medicine should be our primary goal. Making a good living and/or profit is not the primary objective. It may, however, be the byproduct of honest hard work performed at a fair price. Most hospitals and radiology practices strive to improve and expand their services. If these new services are offered at fair market value, physicians, hospitals, and patients will all benefit, and as a result, a profit may result.

Conclusion and impressions
Like any radiologist, I will end with a conclusion or impression. Teleradiology services should exist to transparently support local radiologists and hospitals, not to displace them. The advantages of working together with a teleradiology group are many and include workflow efficiency, improved turnaround time, added specialization, and — last but not least — call coverage.

This combination of services, previously unavailable, should not be fought but welcomed as a winning formula for hospitals, radiologists, and patients. It is this formula that will allow you to treat those patients like family.

Dr. Feole is the founder and CEO of Strategic Imaging Consultants, a national provider of teleradiology and PACS services in Chapel Hill, NC. He is a board-certified, fellowship-trained radiologist with 15 years of private-practice experience. He has 10 years of experience in hospital-based radiology and established Strategic Imaging Consultants in 2006. He has also served as the medical director of three outpatient imaging centers owned by MedQuest Associates and supervised radiology services for thousands of patients and many radiologists at these facilities.

Read original article here.