With the proliferation of x-ray and other radiology services in the urgent care industry, owners and operators have a variety of options about the processes they put in place to make this segment of their business run smoothly and efficiently.
If your clinic does lots of x-rays, it may be prudent to consider a full-time radiologist. The data reported in this issue of the Urgent Care Quarterly suggests that less than 11 percent of all urgent care visits include a radiology code.
The best solution for many urgent care clinics is working with a reputable provider of teleradiology services for so many reasons, like our top six listed here.
When you work with an expert team of contracted radiologists, there is no need to pay the salary and benefits for a full-time radiologist and no training is required. Your contracted teleradiology services provider that is always available is like having a full-time expert on your staff who is always available, never takes sick days or vacations, and already has the training needed to respond quickly and with authority to your needs.
When patients present with an injury or conditions that require a radiology procedure, clinicians need radiology reads right away to determine the most appropriate treatment. The confidence of knowing that a licensed radiologist with relevant experience is reading a patients’ x-rays on their schedule helps clinicians move forward with the right treatment quickly.
Because teleradiology services providers have plenty of experts available all the time, you don’t have to wait—or make a patient wait—on a busy, on-call, or off-site radiologist for answers. Good teleradiology services providers provide a quick turnaround time because they work with a large pool of radiologists from coast to coast. They send all reports securely, quickly, electronically, and are easy to reach when you have follow-up questions or need more information. You get answers; patients get treatment; and everyone is happier.
Every clinician needs another opinion sometimes. Urgent care clinics that have a contract with a Teleradiology service company can have an expert on the line in minutes to collaborate and land on the best treatment method for a patient without having to call in another practitioner or colleague that’s not on site.
As healthcare consumers, patients increasingly expect better service from their care providers. Contracting with the right teleradiology services company can help meet these expectations by allowing clinics to quickly diagnose conditions and start treatment, simplify the patient experience, and consolidate billing so patients don’t receive multiple statements after an urgent care visit with a radiology code. It’s simpler for patients, which is why they opted of urgent care in the first place. When clinics provide great service and expert care, they lay the foundation for lifetime relationships with their patients. Improved satisfaction means more referrals—and more business for your clinic.
An over-read by a consulting radiologist can reduce professional liability for the urgent care provider, who sees such a wide variety of injuries and symptoms that require a radiology procedure. Many centers choose to send all images for over-read to protect themselves and their business. No matter what the volume, urgent care clinics should identify and contract with a teleradiology services company (like Experity Teleradiology) as a go-to over-read resource to call on as needed. These services add value to and serve as an extension your urgent care business. And with the right partner, you can improve your radiology reputation and leave a lasting—positive—impression.