Enabling The Disconnect In Radiology?


The above picture is a simple diagram of what teleradiology means and what it is intended to do.

Teleradiology is the transmission of patient radiological images, such as X-rays, CT or MRI Scans, from one location to another location for the purpose of sharing studies (images and reports) with other radiologists and physicians.

In the above diagram I see a few missing items. It may not be obvious to some. It may be omitted because this is for “IT and Networking” purposes only.

Where is the radiologist? Where is the patient? Where is the enabling function to communicate more rapidly and easily with one another? How are we connected personally?

In a world in which we are hyper-connected at all times of the day, we can send internal images of the body across the globe in a matter of milliseconds, why are we moving further away from being connected as people?

The world outside of healthcare is referred to as the “connection economy.” Everyone has something to say, something to share, something to give. If you provide value, and can demonstrate that value, provide meaning, then there are hundreds of millions of people searching that are willing to act and consume your value.

Inside of healthcare, whether due to FDA, HIPAA, “Intellectual Property,” or other regulations we do everything we can to focus on why we CANNOT connect and share.

This EMR can’t talk to that EMR unless you import, or write a new script, or is in this specific format. This PACS may not talk to that PACS or not all of the information is transferred because of DICOM headers or formatting. This protocol may be different than that protocol because the imaging equipment is manufactured by competitors.

Yet if you pay, we can add more layers and make it work.

As Dr. Matthew Hawkins (@MattHawkinsMD) said so eloquently in his article RSNA 2014: What to expect (and hope for) that RSNA14 will be filled with buzz words.

Words such as: integrated, enhanced, optimized, efficiency, advanced, or my favorite empty promise….”solutions.”

We can visit the McCormick Center and be enamored with the new shiny widgets that fill the showroom floors. We can get energized over the buzz words and hype of lofty promises that this technology will answer all of my needs.

The question I look to answer for my customers is the following:

If I add the cost of new technology will it subtract from the quality in the dialogue between physicians to physicians, physicians to patients, and my organization to the community?

Are you able to draw a straight line from the technology to connecting with your patients? physicians?

Does the technology move me closer to connecting, or does it enable me to move further away from the ones we care for on a daily basis?

Humans are social. Healthcare is about caring for people. Healthcare must connect.

As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek



3 responses to “Enabling The Disconnect In Radiology?

  1. I agree. The PATIENT – who should be central to the process and diagram – is missing. Patients are not an unavoidable byproduct of what we do in medicine. Patients are the core and this should be set up so patients can participate as at least equals in the flow of information.

    If we do not have patients around the table, we are signaling that they are on the menu.

  2. Another great post that applies to Cancer care but really applies general care management. as well move towards tech, the patient can’t get lost on the shuffle.

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