Tuesday, August 08, 2006

ACEP Statement on Teleradiology

From the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP):

Excerpted from: Radiologic Imaging and Teleradiology in the Emergency Department

Teleradiology is a relatively new, but rapidly advancing field that is impacting the practice of emergency physicians across the country. Teleradiology refers to the transmission of digital images, usually across high-bandwidth lines, to a remote location for the purposes of providing real-time radiological interpretations.

The explosion in diagnostic imaging studies ordered through emergency departments, especially coupled with a relative shortage of board-certified radiologists in the US, has lead to the development of entrepreneurial companies that provide radiologists to interpret these studies, especially at night, often from a remote location. These companies are sometimes referred to as “nighthawk” services, and provide radiological interpretations primarily, though not exclusively, on the night shift. CT scans are the most common diagnostic study utilized, but MRIs, ultrasounds, and even plain radiographs may be interpreted based on the specific needs of local institutions.


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