Overcoming Budget Constraints for Radiology in the Critical Access Hospital
The writing has been on the wall for some time now – critical
access hospitals are underserved. Despite catering to a population in
need of high-quality care, budgets and qualified personnel are low in numbers.
With almost 20% of America’s population living in rural areas, there is a demand
for radiology services that don’t break the bank but meet the needs of
Leaders at critical access hospitals agree that radiology is one of the areas most lacking in services. Patients need local access but are often forced to travel elsewhere for imaging services. As the industry continues to change, things like virtual radiology become more critical in following specialized care for patients, yet geographically, it’s mostly the urban areas that are densely populated where such technology is available.
Covered by the Cloud
A radiology program in a critical access hospital can free itself up from the restraints inherent to costly hardware by partnering with a vendor of cloud-based services, such as cloud PACS, teleradiology services and VNA services. Rather than purchase expensive hardware, have it take up physical space in your facility and constantly maintain the equipment, you can rely on offsite hardware and software provided by the vendor.
If you’re constantly struggling to maintain an experienced staff of IT experts, you can enjoy the zero administration perks of a cloud-based system. The best vendors will provide PACS administration as a service, which means you don’t have to worry about the daily tasks required to run PACS. Let the vendor do all the heavy lifting.
The benefits of a cloud solution are many, including a browser agnostic viewer, which allows radiologists to remotely read images using any browser that supports HTML5. Another value-add includes software upgrades. The best vendors will provide you with a service contract for all the software you need for high-quality radiology services, and it will be automatically updated.
Automation is big in just about every industry today, including radiology. Rule-based auto-forwarding of data sets is another benefit when you partner with the right vendor of cloud-based services. This can do a lot to improve your workflow and help you find efficiencies.
At OffSite Image Management, we focus on the needs of critical access hospitals, which is why we have different packages for our rural clients. For example, if you’re a smaller, low volume facility and/or imaging center, we know you have a limited budget, which is why we offer PowerPACS, a program that gives you an all-in-one FD workstation/PACS hybrid. All the hardware and software is included, as is structured reporting.
Not everyone is going to have the same needs, which is why you should contact us and let us know how you want to operate, and we’ll make sure you get what you need and not pay for things you don’t need.