For many smaller radiology clinics, or those in rural areas, having staff on hand 24/7 to read imaging reports is a luxury they simply can’t afford. Fortunately, with digital images and internet connectivity, an interpreter for those late night scans can be just a click away. “We have great subspecialty expertise during the day, but it’s hard to replicate it 24/7,” said Dr. Ricardo Cury, chairman and CEO of Radiology Associates of South Florida (RASF), a private practice group that partners with a teleradiology provider called vRad to address the issue. Both RASF and vRad are owned by MEDNAX, a Florida-based national health solutions company with a focus on specialists. “Now we are able to have dedicated neurology radiologists, body imagers, musculoskeletal physicians and pediatric radiologists,” said Cury.
With 540 teleradiologists in all 50 states interpreting scans for approximately 2,100 facilities nationwide, vRad is responsible for roughly 6.5 million reads per year. “The most common relief valve for the rural radiologist is the after-hours call coverage component – i.e. emergency radiology,” said Kent Thomas, vice president of business development at vRad. “We will cover the after-hours component for them, which allows them to focus more on the daytime reads and staff more efficiently.”
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