In recent years, the surge of technological advancements has resulted in drastic changes in the medical industry. For example, in radiology, teleradiology is a market that has evolved into a crucial component of clinical practice. According to a Healthcare Informatics Q and A with Phillip Kohanski, MD, chief of radiology of Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut, teleradiology is here to stay, and hospitals should aim to work with smaller teleradiology firms.
“We were slow to go onto teleradiology external services, for fear of losing our work; but over time, we’ve learned to rely on it,” Kohanski said. Around 2007, Backus Hospital implemented teleradiology services to manage the high volume of diagnostic imaging needs. Finding a company to outsource excess radiology cases was challenging to Kohanski. They tried out a couple of different agencies — in both instances, the quality of the interpretations took a nose dive after a while. Although the ultimate necessity was to find a company that would read images during the night hours, Kohanski also wanted to find an external agency that could produce fast and accurate interpretations. Three years ago, they settled on Teleradiology Solutions, a cadre of mainly Yale-trained radiologists, and the experience has been mostly smooth sailing.
Kohanski recommends that facilities search for external companies on their own first before asking other specialists for suggestions. He also advocates for starting out on a month-to-month contract so that you can be sure the company is a good fit. He believes that as Northeast hospitals continue to collaborate, there will be an increasing demand for locally-based teleradiology companies.