Case Study | March 06, 2015

IntelePACS’ remote reading capabilities help NationalRad’s highly distributed team of subspecialists deliver high-quality patient care in less time

About NationalRad

Established in 1999, NationalRad is one of the United States’ leading subspecialty diagnostic radiology practices. Based in south Florida, the organization’s staff comprises 25 highly qualified subspecialty radiologists, working mainly from home offices that are distributed across the country. Together, they provide over 100,000 subspecialty interpretations per year to approximately 125 clients.

For NationalRad, being a distributed organization enables them to hire industry-leading radiologists, regardless of where they are located. It also enables them to provide a great deal of freedom to their team, who may have teaching obligations at universities, lecture at conferences around the country or simply prefer working at night.

Their set-up also provides a number of benefits for the organization, including staff retention, providing on-site coverage to their distributed customer base, and perhaps most importantly, providing the highest-quality read for patients.

Given their distinct set-up, NationalRad has a unique IT architecture. As such, the organization has thrived since deploying IntelePACS in September 2013, experiencing a tremendous increase in productivity due to the solution’s ease of use, and the speed at which doctors can access studies and complete reports. For NationalRad, increasing their remote reading and reporting performance has also led to higher satisfaction rates amongst NationalRad’s staff and customers.

Enhancing Remote Reading and Reporting Capabilities

Over the years, NationalRad went through a number of phases related to the distribution of patient images and information to staff. Early on, the group manually pushed efilm through point-to-point VPN, before moving on to a PACS solution with remote viewing capabilities. Unfortunately, the solution was less reliable than anticipated, which resulted in radiologists routinely receiving wrong or incomplete studies.

Looking to increase performance, NationalRad made the decision to replace their existing radiology systems with IntelePACS in 2012. In doing so, the organization obtained a scalable, easy-to-use solution that provides a consistent user experience for offsite reading and reporting, complete with a universal worklist and viewer that provides advanced streaming technology and image accessibility. 

“As a highly distributed organization, it was important to deploy a solution that would provide radiologists with rapid access to studies no matter where they’re located,” said Karen Jodat, chief operating officer, NationalRad.

A Vastly Improved Workflow

In addition to a more reliable system, Intelerad also played a key role in improving NationalRad’s workflow. This process began during NationalRad’s selection process when they were able to sit down with key members of Intelerad’s team, who evaluated their overall workflow and made recommendations on how to improve operations.

“They were very honest about everything and laid out a plan for us,” said Ben Gustman, director of IT, NationalRad. “After two days of meetings with Intelerad, we left knowing that we were going to purchase the solution. We were very comfortable with the people. We were comfortable with the company, and we knew we were making the right decision.”

With the selection process complete, Intelerad’s intuitive, easy-to-use solution deployed and a streamlined workflow in place, NationalRad began to see results. One key area was in the accuracy of case distribution. As opposed to spending time on the phone with clients to obtain the appropriate images, including priors, radiologists can focus on their reads, which has led to improved turnaround times.

“Once we get the images from a client, we inspect for any spelling mistakes and then assign it to a radiologist immediately,” said Gustman. “From there, the radiologist can normally turn it around within an hour.”

Providing Results to Referrers in Less Time

Using Intelerad’s InteleConnectClinical Hub, NationalRad has been able to improve their results distribution, as the solution allows them to push images and reports to referring physicians working in clinics, imaging centers or even a specific department within a hospital.

InteleConnect has also played a role in client satisfaction by helping them manage the process of sending images to NationalRad. In addition to letting clients see that the images have been sent, the solution allows them to make corrections and add any notes that they need to make and then complete the study so it's ready to be read by a radiologist. For NationalRad, this level of automation provides tremendous time-saving benefits, which helps further reduce turnaround time on interpretations.

Stable Systems, Intuitive Interfaces and a Responsive Team

In addition to its workflow benefits, deploying IntelePACS has also provided NationalRad with a more stable and reliable infrastructure, which has allowed them to focus on improving other areas, whether it’s implementing a new voice phone system or fax server solution.

When asked about overall satisfaction, Gustman is quick to point out two areas that have made working with Intelerad a positive experience.

“At Intelerad, the people, and how they handle things, has really made a difference for us,” said Gustman. “On top of that, the software's very intuitive. We got trained on the software, but it really didn't require a whole lot of training. It just made sense right from the beginning.”

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