Myth versus Reality: The truth about Teleradiology: Part 2
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 5: “Teleradiology threatens radiologists’ jobs”
One myth we are occasionally confronted with is that teleradiology would endanger radiologists’ jobs. This myth is dangerous because exactly the opposite is true. It is not only in Europe that we have a shortage of well-trained, specialised radiologists. As a result, the population outside the major centres does not have rapid access to pioneering, modern radiological diagnostics. In teleradiology we help to close this gap. We also offer radiologists an extremely attractive workplace. In every respect, we face up to the modern age with its demands for excellent working conditions on the one hand and a harmonious work-life balance on the other. A further asset that we at ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller offer our customers through our teleradiological service around the clock, every day of the year, is that the workplace at our customers’ premises becomes much more attractive than before the start of our teleradiological service. The permanent staff of our customers no longer have to work every night, every weekend and every holiday in the hospital, but can – with a good portion of rest from the already stressful radiologist’s everyday life – devote themselves to their core competencies during normal working hours.
Myth 6: “Radiological training is lost”
This myth is as old as telemedicine itself. But it is false. We at ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller constantly provide the best counterexample. Our customers include many clinics that train a number of assistant doctors to become radiology specialists year after year. And of course, this training also continues during our teleradiological commitment. Because teleradiology does not mean zero or one, not completely or not at all. On the contrary: many customers take on several night shifts per month themselves, in which they let their assistant doctors work, as required by the training regulations.
Myth 7: “Price dumping by teleradiology” or alternately “Too expensive reports”
The myth confuses the efficient cost structure in teleradiology with unclear pricing. Price dumping cannot take place, if only because of the very high production costs in teleradiology: Quality has its price. The fact that our service would be expensive is, however, not at all true. We were the ones who established the pay per use model in teleradiology: our customers only pay for the reports requested and nothing else. We even provide our customers with the connection to our teleradiology network from ERS – Emergency Radiology Schueller free of charge.