Partners retire, radiologists become sick or injured, everyone in healthcare needs a vacation, and the demand for imaging services seems to grow exponentially every year. It’s the new mantra. Doing more with less under these circumstances eventually becomes a zero-sum game, and threatens professional burn-out to those left to pick up the extra work.
Diagnostic imaging reading service groups have grown and evolved over the past decade to seamlessly step in and remotely provide the expertise needed to lighten an imaging practice’s workload.
Teleradiology services are now available for every imaging subspecialty, and perform preliminary as well as final reads 24/7/365. These providers actively work to partner with a practice, taking on the roll of clinical colleagues for a group’s customers and referring clinicians.
Below is an overview of what some of the reading service companies exhibiting at this year’s RSNA plan to share with conference attendees.
Recently, the firm has seen an increased need in the radiology community for a vendor to provide a reading environment for primary diagnosis among multiple facilities via teleradiology. To address this need, BRIT is releasing a set of advanced tools and services designed to enable radiologists to read, report and return results to various healthcare facilities.
Emory Night Teleradiology offers diagnostic radiology services from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., 365 days a year. The firm’s radiologists interpret studies sent over a virtual private network (VPN) and provide a written report within 30 minutes. If an exam requires immediate medical attention, Emory will call the attending physician within 15 minutes; in addition, the group provides direct phone access for physician conferencing.
Emory Day Teleradiology provides final readings within 24-hours for hospitals and imaging centers throughout the United States. The group performs interpretations for cardiac and oncologic PET/CT, cardiac nuclear medicine, cardiothoracic MRI and CT, musculoskeletal MRI and CT, abdominal MRI and CT, hardcopy and digital mammography and breast MRI, neurological MRI and CT, diagnostic x-rays, and ultrasound from its academic medical center location.
The group offers:
- Final and preliminary report—day or night
- Subspecialty radiology reading services—neuroradiology, musculoskeletal, body, cardiac, oncological, pediatric and breast imaging
- Client support services—web-based access to reports and images, billing, protocol development/training, credentialing/licensing, marketing and best-practice operational guidance.
The company recently acquired Apex Radiology of Coral Gables, Fla., which added 25 radiologists who provide night-time final and preliminary interpretations. F &S now has more than 100 radiologists to meet its clients’ needs.
F&S has observed that the demand for breast MR imaging procedures is growing, which has increased the need radiologists who are skilled at interpreting these cases. This is driving the need for breast MRI teleradiology services to fill in the gaps in coverage availability.
F&S has six breast MR subspecialty radiologists and will add more to its radiology team as needed. This implementation process ensures that clients have the appropriate equipment on site, and provides the necessary protocols, screening questionnaire and patient preparation guidance as well as contrast precautions. F &S notes that it does not provide on-site capabilities for diagnostic exams or biopsies.
The group interprets breast MRI exams for the following diagnosis and management:
- Surveillance of high-risk patients: Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that breast MRI can significantly improve the detection of cancer that is otherwise clinically and mammographically occult. Breast MRI may be indicated in the surveillance of women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer (BRCA1, BRCA2), or in patients with a family/personal history suggesting risk equivalent to that of BRCA1/2 prior to radiation to the chest.
- Silicone and non-silicone breast augmentation: Breast MRI is useful in the evaluation of patients