Teleradiology â?? A More Effective Use of Resources

With an aging population, people delaying medical procedures because of the spiraling costs associated with a privatized system and more medical students going into more profitable fields such as cosmetic surgery, the number of practicing radiologists has been shrinking even as demand is rising. Teleradiology makes access to these medical professionals easier than ever. Through the use of web based PACS (Picture Archive and Communication Systems), medical images can be distributed securely over the Internet. This is the basis of teleradiology; thanks to this increasingly-affordable technology, radiologists are no longer limited by location.

The Web-Based PACS Story

The first Radiology PACS was used at the Department of Radiology at the Ohio State University Medical Center nearly twenty years ago. In those days, the cost was several times what it is today, so only such a major medical center with university (or corporate) funding could afford such a system.

Despite the quarter-million dollar price tag, it is estimated that since it was installed in 1992, OHU’s Radiology PACS has saved the center in excess of $2 million dollars.

As the cost of PC-based technology that makes teleradiology possible has continued to fall, radiology PACs have become increasingly affordable. Today, a basic system can be had for around $5000.

More On Teleradiology

As Web-based communications have become easier, faster and cheaper, it has enabled radiologists to practice their specialty from any location and at any time of the day. This also gives hospitals in small, under-served communities access to health care professionals who work in some of the less-common sub-specialties in the radiology field, such as MRI Radiologists, Neuroradiologists, Pediatric Radiologists, or Musculoskeletal Radiologists â?? physicians who are usually found practicing only in major metropolitan areas.

Modern radiology PACS (Picture Archive and Communication Systems) employ the same basic PC and Internet technology with which you are already familiar â?? meaning that you can be up and running quickly without having to invest large amounts of time and money training the staff on how to use new technology.

Radiology PACS also make it easier to keep records and comply with federal regulations in this regard. It will no longer be necessary to use a cumbersome file-folder system, as such teleradiology records can be stored digitally, using any system that works for your facility and system. It’s possible to store medical images on digital media with other patient records, such as health history, prescriptions, the all-important billing information â?? any records that can be digitized â?? in the same archive, using the same folder system as Windows or MacOS.

The Future of Diagnostic Medicine

Using teleradiology services remotely over the World Wide Web does not mean sacrificing speed or quality â?? in fact, most such services have a turnaround time of thirty minutes or less, which can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. Radiology PACS offer flexibility, economy and efficiency â?? making teleradiology a large part of the future of health care.

In this article Jonathon Blocker writes about Teleradiology.

Powered by Yahoo! Answers