Practice Matters

Teleradiology Business Benefits from MedQ Solution

By Elaine Sanchez, May 2008

Four years ago, health care workflow solutions provider MedQ, of Dallas, changed the entire architecture of its RIS platform to accommodate more complex ordering information.

Its Q/ris 3000 Reading Services Management (RSM) System enables radiologists to create a single, consolidated worklist from a number of sites, from single modality centers to large hospital networks. Images, both digital and film, are automatically integrated into a seamless multivendor system, allowing radiologists to look at a single screen and read for a variety of imaging facilities.

"What we wanted to do was make it easy for doctors to take exams from multiple locations," said John Norman, the company's CEO. For a company like Tennessee-based Mid-South Imaging and Therapeutics, PA. (MSIT), which operates a sub-specialized teleradiology bu

siness, the Q/ris was exactly the flexible solution the group was seeking to relieve staffers of time-consuming manual processes.

"As more physicians began placing MRIs, ultrasounds, and CTs in their own offices, they needed someone to read the images, and they would contact us,"said Melanie Fite, director of operations and marketing at MSIT, where she has worked for the past 15 years. "We needed one location to store all of our radiology reports and a solution that allowed us to track their progress and reduce turnaround time."

Fite estimates that the teleradiology group reads 5300 exams a month from 20 different medical groups around the region. MSIT, with its group of 30 radiologists, provides services to Baptist Memorial Healthcare, in the metropolitan area of Memphis, Tenn. A computer and Internet access are all that is required for one of the group's radiologists to access a worklist. The RSM offers data capture, editing, and electronic scanning, and it allows for both on-site and remote report creating using either digital dictation or voice recognition. "With our system, all a physician needs to do is sign on to the server and start dictating," Norman said. "We can send the dictation automatically to multiple locations, depending on where the individual wants it."

Fite said that since there are fewer manual processes, there is a lot less room for error. Data is captured once, at the source, and then the information is put into a complete reading package. One of the biggest benefits of the system, she continued, is that it distributes reports automatically. Some of the clinics want the reports faxed, Fite explained, while others prefer them encrypted in e-mail as a PDF. Sometimes, the client even requests that reports are placed directly into its server. "All of these processes, which we ourselves performed manually, are now automatic," Fite said.

The Q/ris 3000 Reading Services Module is available as an integrated part of the Q/ris 3000 Enterprise Workflow Management System or it can be purchased as a stand-alone program to support the needs of radiology reading services. This flexibility was something that MSIT particularly enjoyed in the intuitive solution. Fite said that the group didn't need an entire RIS with registration and patient schedule offerings. Essentially, MedQ was willing to sell them half of its system.

"They were so flexible and accommodating, especially with our customers," Fite said. "They were willing to work with us on a per-clinic basis."