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All Posts Tagged: teleradiology

Radiology Regaining Public Trust in Wake of Covid-19

As radiology braces for a surge in imaging procedures in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities must take action to regain the public’s trust that they can undergo imaging exams safely without being at risk for infection. Implementing a number of steps, including universal masking and spacing out imaging exam times to permit adequate time to sterilize imaging suites.

Sanitizing protocols deployed during COVID-19 need to be assessed to determine realistic times between scheduled exams for each type imaging suite, as well as the need for additional staff to perform this enhanced sanitizing efficiently. Logistics for sanitizing waiting rooms, staff rooms, and computer monitors, keyboards, mice/controls, and workstations also need to be determined.

Radiology departments may wish to extend their hours to achieve imaging volume goals. Radiologists may wish to reassess standard exam protocols to determine if and how they could be streamlined. It may be appropriate to determine if implementing clinically proven abbreviated or accelerated protocols, such as those for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), would be clinically appropriate and beneficial.

For hospital radiology departments, plans to continue to provide essential imaging services for patients with known or suspected COVID-19 need to be made, and logistics assessed with respect to plans for imaging virus-free patients. The challenges associated with this are so individualized to a radiology department that they are not within the scope of this article, and are best made by a dedicated task force of administrative staff, technologists, and radiologists.

Once logistics are determined, the daily volume of emergency exams need to be estimated. From these statistics, tiered plans of attainable estimated volumes should be developed. The research companies in the segment of teleradiology recommend developing tiers that include non-urgent time-sensitive exams, elective care, and screening. From this, the scheduling of daily exam workloads for each modality and imaging suite can be developed, as it is highly unlikely that radiology departments will be able to initially achieve their pre-COVID-19 workflows while maintaining strict safety procedures for both patients and department staff. The RSNA COVID-19 Task Force advises that two vital factors that support a slow, gradual ramp-up of imaging volumes are the prevention of increased staff and patient exposures to COVID-19 and the regaining of patient confidence with respect to being safe inside a radiology department.

Staff needs to realistically assess the physical layout and size of their imaging facility. This includes the number of patients who can be accommodated while maintaining safe social distancing in both check-in and patient-only waiting rooms (such as those for diagnostic mammography patients), the ability to initiate one-way traffic flows in hallways, and the size and layout of radiology reading rooms, scanner console areas, and staff work and lounge areas to accommodate safe social distancing. Radiologists whose presence is not required onsite are encouraged to do remote exam interpretation via teleradiology. Advanced Telemed Services has gone a long way in regaining public trust for Teleradiology in these trying times of covid-19.

Telephone and email communication with patients relating to scheduled exams should be initiated so that patients have completed all paperwork prior to arrival. The radiology department staff need to be proactive with patients in advising that COVID-19 risk is low and in explaining the safeguards being taken within the radiology department. It is important to provide calming, fact-based information to patients — and for that matter, radiology staff — to alleviate fears. Any history of COVID-19 exposure by a patient should be obtained and assessed in conjunction with scheduled appointment reminders.

Prior to entry into a radiology department, all patients, staff, and accompanying visitors (if allowed) should be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. A plan is needed for the management of individuals who screen positive or suspicious.

In case if you are a clinic and want to take advantage of teleradiology services, you can visit https://www.advancedtelemedservices.com. We have a rigid platform and an efficient team of professional radiologists who can help you with the diagnosis. For teleradiology services you can get in touch with us at info@advancedtelemedservices.com  or call us at +1(617)909-4766.

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Radiology practice cuts cost in response to Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic decreases in examination volumes – of up to 80+ percent in some cases – for private radiology practices that rely solely on revenues from examination interpretation, according to a special report from the RSNA COVID-19 Task Force.

The severe economic impact of COVID-19 has forced many practice leaders to take drastic cost-cutting measures to stay open, including decreasing salaries, paid time off, benefits, and hours of work despite increasing work responsibilities, the report’s authors stated. While practices need to be fiscally responsible during these difficult times, it is not possible for groups to cut expenses as a solution to long term profitability.

With no end in sight to the current pandemic, such information could prove actionable for both radiologist workforce and practice financial planning, particularly if a predicted potentially disastrous ‘second wave’ of corona virus disease indeed materializes. Some groups may prove unable to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially fueling trends either toward consolidation into larger radiology groups or toward increased employment by hospitals.

State budgets are taking a hit during the pandemic and in response, Medicaid reimbursement rates are likely to fall even further to make up for state revenue shortfalls. Radiology practices will rely more on Medicaid and self-pay patients in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The Urban Institute estimates that 10.1 million people will lose their employer-sponsored healthcare coverage from a COVID-19-related job loss during the last three quarters of 2020. Of these individuals, the non-profit think tank projects about a third to switch to another source of employer coverage through a family member, but 28 percent will enroll in Medicaid and 6 percent in the non-group market. Even worse, about 3.5 million people in this group will become uninsured by the end of 2020.

Best practices have developed over the years for radiologists, for instance, hanging films migrated to PACs systems. The ability to verify insurance coverage and engage patients early in the collection process must also take a similar evolution.  As patient responsibility and liability continues to increase, groups must engage new and enhanced technology and processes to capture the lost revenue opportunity.

But radiology practices will have to adapt to greater patient engagement with a slimmer workforce. Collecting the most difficult dollars with a streamlined workforce requires more focused technology and effectiveness in the billing cycle.

Technology investments and process improvements in the revenue cycle will be the key to overcoming the financial and operational challenges of COVID-19.  Business intelligence and revenue cycle management systems can also support cost-cutting efforts radiology practices must undertake to increase efficiency amid unfavorable payer mix shifts. A data-driven approach to financial stability is the key to understanding a practice’s cash flow and physician productivity.

Balancing technology with highly trained staff will be crucial to surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. Selecting a revenue cycle management partner who understands the specific challenges in radiology can help practice leaders achieve that balance.

Rethinking revenue cycle management using a blend of technology and training will be a key to succeeding in a post-pandemic world in which there are more uninsured patients, fewer radiologists, and a greater need for efficiency.

While in these trying times, Advanced Telemed Services comes out strong to offer its tele-radiology services for hospitals and clinics in united states. This not only helps provide quick turn around time but also helps in reducing costs per read. Advanced TeleMed can help you evaluate your revenue cycle.

In case if you are a clinic and want to take advantage of teleradiology services, you can visit https://www.advancedtelemedservices.com. We have a rigid platform and an efficient team of professional radiologists who can help you with the diagnosis. For teleradiology services you can get in touch with us at info@advancedtelemedservices.com  or call us at +1(617)909-4766.

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Impact of AI on Teleradiology Market in Recent Times

Due to this covid-19 outbreak, the world has seen the potential of teleradiology globally. Many researches have been carried out to examine the penetration of teleradiology for image processing. Most of the diagnostic centers which always operated offline, have also got online in these trying times. This is beneficial in multiple ways. Diagnosis can be provided to the patients 24×7 and they can be treated quickly in case of emergency as the radiology results can be provided quickly to them, the diagnosis process can be executed faster and thereby the treatment. Secondly, it becomes important to keep social distance and allow the radiologist to diagnose from the safe environment of his own home or his personal diagnostic center, rather than stepping out to the clinic to read the reports.

To meet this increasing demand of teleradiology in these trying times, AI played a very vital role along with the medical software systems. Despite of IT being the foundation and the most important tool in carrying the radiology scans and virtually carrying it to the radiologist and bringing back the reports in the virtual format back to the diagnostic center or the clinic and thereby delivering it to the patient. The entire process of encryption and decryption becomes important along with encoding and decoding process at both the ends. AI goes a step further in helping automating the diagnosis scan and reading the scan like a robot. There is a lot which has been researched in the domain of AI for teleradiology but will still take a handful of years for the same to be executed and deployed all around the world. The day is not far when you will have an AI Robot reading the reports for you. To make it more accurate and precise, the final verdict of the radiologist is important but AI will still be important in increasing the speed of diagnosis.

Many researches have been carried out for image processing globally to present estimates and forecasts for teleradiology reading services. There were about 4.7B diagnostic imaging scans performed globally in 2019 which have been increasing by approx 3% year on year over last 5 years but that seems to have been doubled and become 6% this year. Majority of the scans in 2020 were x-ray scans followed by MRI and CT scan which also seemed to have increased in the recent years. Clinics and diagnostic centers have started developing higher amount of trust in teleradiology as it becomes a blessing in disguise for clinics and hospitals in remote locations where radiology experts are not easily available in the vicinity.

Teleradiology Market Potential

There is a great market potential when it comes to teleradiology as more and more clinics would appreciate this method of disguise and for the clinics in remote area this seems to a service which they had been deprived of for long. While this technology becomes readily available to more hospitals and more providers for the same, it will gradually reduce the rate per scan which will be another reason why higher number of diagnostics centers will prefer using teleradiology. With the advent of AI the readings become faster and researches say that they accounted for less than 20% of total radiologist reading time, which is a great savings on the cost and also time per scan. The net effect of this changing mode of diagnosis and complexion of scans over next five years will be noteworthy. AI not only improves upon the diagnosis procedures but also provides faster output for scans that need disproportionately longer time to report. This is the major reason for increase in the demand for radiologist resource.

AI offers a huge competitive advantage for teleradiology reading service providers that can reduce these read times, whilst maintaining or improving accuracy. There are several AI algorithms developed by IT organizations which can contribute greatly in this unique development which will change the face of the industry.

How will AI be used by Teleradiology Reading Service Providers in coming years to come?

Three most important factors that will heavily contribute in influencing the success of radiology are:

a.) The speed for radiology scans that radiologists working for teleradiology will provide and jot down their observations.
b.) The accuracy of the reports produced by radiologists.
c.) The workflow and decision making processes that service providers put in place to make sure urgent reads are prioritized and served in real time.

Over time, AI can be used to support and improve all these three important factors. Whilst there has been plenty of activities been undertaken in association to teleradiology and AI, the reality is that it will still take a considerable amount of time to have a significant visible impact on the market and improve upon the speed, accuracy and workflow/decision support for teleradiology.

In case if you are a clinic and want to take advantage of teleradiology services, you can visit https://www.advancedtelemedservices.com. We have a rigid platform and an efficient team of professional radiologists who can help you with the diagnosis. For teleradiology services you can get in touch with us at info@advancedtelemedservices.com  or call us at +1(617)909-4766.

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Teleradiology was a boon in disguise to handle COVID-19 outbreak

Teleradiology has always been a vital technology in the world of radiology. But with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic it sparked a boom in remote reading as radiology departments and imaging centers turn to teleradiology to keep their functions flowing smoothly while abiding by the norms of social distancing.

Teleradiology helps in providing accurate diagnoses much faster than the traditional film images. Radiologists all over the world are supporting teleradiology. Today, digital images like x-rays, magnetic resonance images and others can be easily sent from one location to another using the web based picture archiving and communication system (PACS). The images sent by this picture archiving and communication system can be viewed by many radiologists all around the globe at the same time. This helps save time and is an effective way of obtaining diagnoses from specialists in various different locations.

Teleradiology first came into existence in the 1990s with the adoption of the DICOM 3.0 image standard and high internet bandwidth. It was initially used by radiologists to read it from home in after office hours in case of emergency but later on it was accepted by various healthcare professionals. Later on, it also became more of a traditional model for interpreting images from a centralized reading room.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, teleradiology was often used for call and overnight shifts but after the pandemic hit, the survey found an overall increase in the installation of new home workstations by 65.2% and switching normal daytime shifts to internal teleradiology by 73.6% across various different geographical regions.

The scenario was different when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the U.S. in March 2020. Many institutions shut down or reduced staff to keep both patients and doctors safe. They installed teleradiology in order to treat the patients and also abide by the laws of social distancing. This helped develop seamless radiologic interpretation capabilities and also protect vulnerable radiologists and hospital workers. Teleradiology did a wonderful job.

Teleradiology is a great advancement in the field of imaging for radiologists and physicians. It helps improve patient care by allowing radiologists to provide services without having to be at the same location as the patient. As the web based PACS is instantaneous in nature, it saves precious time of both the radiologist as well as the patient.The diagnosis through teleradiology has expedited recovery.

The use of PACS has numerous advantages over the traditional film imaging system. Digital images sent using PACS can be received by the radiologist in no time in any part of the world. Whereas the traditional film imaging system required the images to be processed over time and also required a lot of storage space and someone to maintain them as according to the HIPPA standards. Storage is not a problem with digital images; you can save thousands of images on a server which can be in the corner of a room. Since these images are stored onto a server, they are easily accessible whenever required. Teleradiology is a major step towards improved patient care. Using teleradiology it is possible to get in touch with specialists in any part of the world and so it has proved immensely beneficial for smaller towns where finding a specialist can be a problem.

Advanced Telemed Services is a pioneer in providing teleradiology services to hospitals in United States. It also serves globally. In case if you wish to know more about ATS, visit https://www.advancedtelemedservices.com or contact us at info@advancedtelemedservices.com /+1(617)909-4766.

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Teleradiology Services

How Do Teleradiology Companies Assist in Improving Healthcare?

In most cases, hospitals and other medical facilities typically hire their own radiologists, but there are still many circumstances in which they require services from teleradiology companies. For instance, when their staff is overwhelmed with requests for MRIs and X-rays and their analyses, they would be in need of the skills and knowledge of non-staff radiology experts. And this can happen very often in many hospitals all around the globe.

These cases are made imminent in many possible situations. Imagine the demand for advanced teleradiology services in the event of a natural calamity or even that of a major accident that transpired in the wee hours of the morning. The contribution of teleradiology professionals is necessary in determining the physicians’s best course of action. For the purpose of upholding their high standards as well as of taking care not to overwork their staff, hospitals should make sure that they know which company to engage to help address their workload.

It’s important for them to ensure that the company they hire to perform teleradiology work is compliant with the standards set by the HIPAA and the ACR. This gives clients such as hospitals and clinics the assurance that staff members of the company are fully qualified and certified to make professional and correct assessments of the scans presented to them, regardless of the state they’re based in. One of the important advantages of these outsourced services is the fact that they’re not limited by shifting as many of their clients are.

A good teleradiology company is able to provide service 24/7 to meet the specific needs of its client, be it a large hospital, a small clinic, or a private practice. Besides the technical radiology work it performs, its support staff also works on complying with the various paperwork involved in the business, such as licensing, insurance, credentials, etc.

Fortunately, the advancement in telecommunications today has made it so much easier to rely on the helping hand that a teleradiology company offers to hospitals and other medical establishments when they’re experiencing a large volume of radiology-related tasks or when their own radiologists are not available.

With these services, geography and time zones are no longer an issue either. Through their help, their clients are able to maintain a high quality of health care for their patients. It is definitely prudent for hospitals, clinics, and private practices to take the time and pick the best service to work with.

You can get in touch with us at https://www.advancedtelemedservices.com. If you need any services, please contact info@advancedtelemedservices.com /+1(617)909-4766.
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