Radiologists considering the use of an outside service for final reads will have questions that include not only quality and cost but also the impact on the group’s relationship with its hospital and referring physician community. The answer will not be the same for every radiology practice. Here we present some of the pros and cons for consideration in the decision-making process.
The teleradiology industry was founded well over a decade ago around the idea that a radiologist in a different time zone could handle a practice’s overnight hospital emergency readings and allow the local group to avoid that dreaded shift. Those preliminary readings would have to be over-read by the local group the next morning in order for them to issue a final report. Today the original idea of providing only preliminary reads for night coverage is becoming outmoded, and modern teleradiology means real-time, final reporting from a remote site.