Myth versus Reality: The truth about Teleradiology: Part 1
Teleradiology is at the same time one of the most important branches of telemedicine and yet a comparatively young specialization. As with every new method, a lot of myths and misunderstandings are spread about teleradiology. We at ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller have noticed time and again, for example during our visits to congresses and in our communication with stakeholders, that some of these myths persist. We attach particular importance to describing what the reality about our teleradiology services actually looks like. Teleradiology at ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller: This means highly specialized service provision in the first and thus already decisive phase of patient care for several patients in several clinics at the same time. This means: better diagnoses for patients and better conditions for radiologists to provide adequate medical assistance to very many people in many places. And yet, myths and prejudices still exist with regard to this new medical service.
Myth 1: “Cheap reports from far away countries”
We at ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller rely exclusively on the reports of all examinations by our radiology specialists, who all have a high degree of experience in accident and emergency radiology. All of our radiologists are entitled to practice in the European Union in accordance with §2 of the European Union Medical EU Qualification Ordinance 2014 and are also licensed in Switzerland by the Medical Professions Commission of the Federal Office of Public Health. Before our radiologists are admitted to our team, they have to pass a hard but fair entrance test – our Assessment Center – over several days. Only the very best are taken under contract by us. During our On Call Service, every report is promptly reviewed by a second radiology specialist around the clock, every day of the year. We call this service – free of charge for our customers – Second Read. With all these complex procedures, we at ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller ensure that we deliver top quality to our customers around the clock, every day of the year.
Myth 2: “Too little patient information”
It is only a myth that our radiologists have too little information about our patients and cannot get an idea of their condition. Rather, it is true that we at ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller communicate with the referring office by telephone at least three times for each individual patient in our On Call Service. Our radiology specialists personally accept each referral around the clock, every day of the year, and work with the referring physicians to establish the justifiable indication for the examination. We discuss each individual patient with the responsible MTRA team of our customers and discuss each report with the referring physicians until agreement is reached. Only in this way is it possible to make precise diagnoses to help each patient receive an individualized therapy.
Myth 3: “Insufficient communication with referring physicians”.
Radiologists arrive at very important results that must be communicated quickly to the referring physicians. The myth says that teleradiology could not do this.
In reality, our examination results for each individual patient are discussed in detail between our radiologists and the referring physicians. This is done within half an hour after the examination is sent to our teleradiology network. To ensure perfect communication, all our radiologists at ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller are native speakers of German and/or are Swiss, Austrian or German citizens.
Myth 4: “No contact between radiologists and the MTRA team”
In radiology, the contact between the radiologists and the MTRA team is very important. The myth says that this would not be possible in teleradiology. Just the opposite is true: our radiologists work together with the MTRA team of each of our partner clinics for each individual patient and have established a very good relationship and constant exchange over many years. The same applies to our personal relationship with the outpatient, intensive care and shock room teams of our customers. Over the years, an excellent climate of discussion has been created here, of which we are very proud.