Teleradiology is the form of radiology practice where medical images are taken at some hospital or a diagnostic center then transferred from that location to another with the help of electronic transmission for interpretation by the radiologists.
Unlike conventional radiology, once the image is taken then it can be interpreted by any radiologist remotely who needs not to be present physically at the site of the scan. This is its unique feature by which it can manage high volumes of radiographs that need interpretations without overburdening the radiologists who are available locally.
The turn-around time can be reduced along with increased financial benefits since it can serve as the best alternative to having radiologists available 24/7, which otherwise can be very expensive in a conventional radiology set up.
Teleradiology is gaining more and more importance each day around the whole globe.
For the radiologist the benefits of teleradiology reporting services are many such as:
Reduces burnout of the radiologists: In busy medical set-ups where large volumes of the scan are generated, the radiologists are often posed to excess workload constantly, leading to radiologist burnout which can turn out to be a serious issue. The overworked radiologist tends to make more medical errors resulting in more false positive and false negative interpretations. In such setups, if teleradiology is provided then it can tremendously reduce the pressure on the on-site radiologist.
Nighthawks: these are the particular group of radiologists in the practice of teleradiology who can benefit the other radiologists during emergency hours or other odd times. By outsourcing scans to nighthawks during an emergency after hours the radiologists can get to sleep at night which helps them maintain their efficacy. In the nighthawk teleradiology setup, the key point is that the scan is reported by a radiologist from a different time zone who is doing it in his daytime hours.
Saves time for radiologists: Teleradiology can improve the quality of life for a radiologist by saving a lot of time especially for those radiologists who often travel to several healthcare centers in a single day. In places where the number of radiologists is few as per the number of diagnostic centers, teleradiology can be the best solution, which can let the radiologist stay at one location and report the scans for multiple centers. This would save his time and energy thus helping him work more efficiently.
Teleradiology can also help radiologists to save patient’s time by quickly reading the medical images which can reach them immediately after scan via secure electronic transmission. This results in much faster and efficient consultative services without affecting the cost.
Second opinion subspecialty: Teleradiology proves to be an exceptional advantage when it comes to gaining a second opinion. Since the number of subspeciality radiologist such as neuroradiologist, pediatric radiologist, the maxillofacial radiologist is very few as compared to the general radiologist and it becomes almost impossible to find all specialist at one place then in such cases with the help of teleradiology a general radiologist can get a second opinion from subspecialty radiologists which can benefit him/her while dealing with a rare disorder.
Work from home for many radiologists: in the present situation where minimal contact is the most practiced form of work, teleradiology can play a great role for radiologist by allowing them to manage the reporting from home which would not only benefit the radiologist for maintaining their jobs while being safe but can also balance workflow of high scan volumes.
Source of additional income: teleradiology can help radiologists to generate the extra amount of money by working a few hours after work. By practicing teleradiology in this regard a radiologist would not only benefit himself but can also benefit the other radiologist for whom he is serving as a “Nighthawk”.
To summarize it all, teleradiology can benefit a radiologist, not in one but many ways, maybe more than mentioned above. In the present situation, the pandemic has changed the form of life for everyone by impacting health, financial conditions, and mental status. Even the radiologists are not spared they are falling sick, few have lost their lives while working as a healthcare provider and some have lost their jobs. In this present situation apart from its usual benefits, we can say that teleradiology is benefiting the radiologist amazingly.