The interpretation of radiological patient images can now be carried out not only locally at the hospital or healthcare clinic where the patient is being treated, but also at any distant healthcare facilities that are located in another city, state and even country. This new consultative and interpretative procedure is often referred to as teleradiology. This new procedure of course brings about both advantages and disadvantages that affect all parties involved in the implementation of it, including radiologists (or teleradiologists), doctors who treat the patient, the healthcare organization that puts this procedure into operation, the outsourcing companies that facilitate the implementation of this procedure, and patients.
Each of those parties reap different advantages when teleradiological procedure is put into operation. For a radiologist or teleradiologist, this procedure gives them opportunity to expand their skill and knowledge and to find new sources of income. Teleradiologists who work at a particular healthcare facility and currently don’t have a lot of radiological images to handle can take care of any radiological images sent to them from distant facilities that cannot be handled there. For doctors, this procedure is also advantageous because in order to be able to treat their patients effectively, they have to retrieve the interpretation result of their patients’ radiological images. For healthcare facilities, this procedure is also advantageous because by implementing it, they can improve the overall quality of their service. For outsourcing companies, such as nighthawk radiology, this procedure is their main asset to attract new clients and to develop their business. For patients, the implementation of this procedure allows them to receive the best possible treatment.
Besides the advantages that this procedure gives, there are also disadvantages that are perceived when it is put into operation. Among its disadvantages is that there is a risk that the examination result will be interpreted in less complete fashion because teleradiologists aren’t necessarily able to retrieve additional images or collateral information.