Friday, October 5, 2012

Practice Support

Caution tends to still exist for most radiology groups these days when teaming up with a teleradiology practice, with uncertainties ranging from quality assurance and access concerns to perceived threats to their business; while the list of issues that could end up being roadblocks is certainly extensive, however, teleradiology actually tends to lower overhead, tends to improve morale, and tends to help grow a practice, and that is only the beginning!
This entire topic reaches back to 2000, when teleradiology emerged with a focus in a support capacity, with a number of large, national practices merging with the goal of changing the model that had been in place for years, and instead pursuing daytime hours - all in an effort to replace conventional radiology groups. Teleradiology is beginning to reemerge with its original intent, however, as concerns over both quality control and overall commitment have caused there to be a shift toward teleradiology specialists who operate in a more traditional manner and are content to operate in a strictly supportive role - all of which will likely end up creating a renewed interest in teleradiology amongst radiology groups.
When it comes down to it, after all, there is typically not enough volume to support the cost of a dedicated professional, with only five to fifteen reads generally being available each night (which means that paying a physician a substantial salary for this menial task neither makes the greatest use of the money expended nor of the physician's time and talents) - and what's more, teleradiologists are generally focused on on interpretations that are preliminary only, which means that final reads can still end up being accelerated for their counterparts working days. As is widely known already, practices are required to reread and verify results, but QC/QA requirements can be fulfilled with this duplication.
In addition to increasing the profitability of a practice (while decreasing those administrative problems that tend to occur), teleradiology also has the ability to enable a practice to do more with a smaller staff, which means that the group can look into hospital engagements that will be profitable, while also knowing that they can absorb overnight coverage without needing to add additional employees.
Teleradiology also allows for the obstacle of attracting new talent to no longer be as large of a problem, as undesirable, overnight hours is no longer a necessity - which means it will be easier it appeal to young practitioners, while also making it easier to keep veteran professionals around.
And most importantly of all, when working with a teleradiologist, a practice can significantly lessen the problem of trying to juggle staff, and will be able to run far more smoothly as a result!

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