While many are quick to point to overuse of medical imaging as a culprit for the high cost of hospital emergency care today, the fact is that without rapid access to medical imaging results, diagnosis and treatment delays would be the norm and the cost of care would be even greater.
Medical imaging is critical to the diagnosis and treatment of all patients. The speed and accuracy of diagnosis would be significantly diminished without it, particularly in the case of emergency care. Trends show continued increases in medical imaging for emergency departments according to an article entitled: “Diagnostic Imaging Trends in the Emergency Department: An Extensive Single-Center Experience”, by Juliusson G, Thorvaldsdottir B, Kristjansson JM, Hannesson P.
It is ideal for the emergency departments to have 24/7 access to x-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound. The reality is that many hospitals do not have round the clock on site staff for such purposes and teleradiology provides a viable option. It’s important to work with a reputable provider with a dedicated group of US-based radiologists that is assigned to your facility, to ensure timely communications that lead to improved patient outcomes and fewer repeat scans.
Arthur Greene, MD, President of Excalibur Healthcare and board certified radiologist, says that the best possible outcomes occur when possible and applicable for radiologists to take a more active role in the real time consultation of patient imaging exams with the ED physicians. The environment in which this is likely to occur is when there is an ongoing relationship between the emergency staff and radiologist. The real time consultation provides the opportunity to define with greater precision the patient’s clinical presentation with correlation to the imaging exams for a specific diagnosis and directive report to the clinician. This consultation is more important with the nationwide shortage of physicians, resulting in emergency medicine departments staff by non-emergency medicine trained clinicians and the use of other healthcare professionals such as nurse practitioners and PA’s.
With teleradiology, patients can quickly have diagnostic imaging interpreted without requiring a radiologist on site. Doctors can have access to interpretations 24/7/365 and begin patient treatment. Teleradiology services allow hospitals to treat patients round the clock.
Click to view: TELERADIOLOGY INFOGRAPHIC
Source: Diagnostic Imaging Trends in the Emergency Department: An Extensive Single-Center Experience, by Juliusson G, Thorvaldsdottir B, Kristjansson JM, Hannesson P. Acta Radiol Open. 2019;8(7):2058460119860404. Published 2019 Jul 31. doi:10.1177/2058460119860404.