Top 5 Essential Health Screenings For Women

Without a doubt, it is far better to catch any disease in its earliest stages. Screening allows for early detection and more effective treatment. Below are the top five screenings every woman should have to detect and prevent diseases.

Mammogram- 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer at some point in their lives. For some women this occurs earlier than others. The general guideline is that  women ages 40 to 44 should have mammograms. However, if a family history or a genetic predisposition to breast cancer is present, it is more important than ever to get annual screenings. 

 

Cervical –

A Pap smear or HPV test can find irregularities in cells that point to cervical cancer in the early stages. If signs of cervical cancer are detected a tranvaginal, transrectal, or an MRI should be performed to ascertain the extent of the cancer or tumor.

 

Bone Density-

After age 65, it is recommended that all women get a bone density screening.  Practitioners can utilize x-ray, body CT, spine CT or a bone density scan to assess the progression of osteoporosis

bone scan for womenCholesterol-

Blood tests can detect high cholesterol. To further evaluate vessels in the heart, doctors can use a CAC test, a type of CT scan. According to the American Heart Association, patients aged 40 to 75 should receive this screening, especially when the risk of heart disease can’t be determined. 

 

Colorectal Cancer

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends women over the age of fifty-five should get a colorectal examination. Colonoscopy, CT colonography, and flexible sigmoidoscopy are used for visual detection of colorectal cancer. 

Over the past 30 years, there have been many advancements in radiology that allow for better imaging and faster screening. With three dimensional and cross-sectional imaging, practitioners can get a better view of areas of concern and catch cancers or other diseases in their earliest stages. Moreover, electronic transmission enables radiologists to read screenings remotely for a quicker turnaround time. 

 

Helping your Patients get Screened

Even with these advancements, education is key in encouraging women to get screening. There is a tried and true saying —when you know better, you do better. Education can be employed in a variety of ways. Do you operate a women’s wellness clinic? You want to spread the right information that can save your patients’ lives. Here are a few tips to do just that:

 

  • Newsletters are cost-effective and can have a far-reaching impact. It is important to utilize personal stories, so that patients can put a face to the statistics. These often create a connection with patients as well. Women can see themselves in the stories of other women.
  • wellness clinic newsletter
    Newsletters a a great way to spread the word about the importance of screening

    Virtual events are more convenient for patients than the traditional fundraising events, especially in the age of COVID. Not to mention, they are also cost-effective. The virtual events can also utilize statistics, personal stories, and discussions by doctors in the field.

 

Imaging centers should work with doctors to encourage them to speak with their patients about the importance of screenings, as patients rely on their doctors for the majority of their information.

 

Early screening is often overlooked. However, it is of the utmost importance to encourage patients to get regular screenings to allow for ear detection and treatment. Doing so can save lives.

 

Teleradiology Services

If you are concerned that your healthcare facility simply cannot support the amount of time it takes to review screening results, that’s where Vesta comes in. In service for nearly 15 years, Vesta provides telemedicine and teleradiology services to fill in those gaps for you. With 24 x 7, 365 year round service, Vesta Teleradiology employs US Board Certified radiologists to receive and expertly interpret mammograms and more.

Whether your facility is in a major city or is a satellite in a rural town, we can help.

Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month: Advancements Through the Ages

Ultrasounds—to many not in the medical field, the image of a woman getting her pregnant belly examined is often something that comes to mind first. However, as medical industry professionals, we understand that ultrasounds go way beyond that.

ultrasounds

It’s really amazing to actually look at the history and advancement of such an important diagnostic tool especially during October–Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month.

In simple terms, the ultrasound scan isn’t just a medical device that can help track the development of a baby during pregnancy. The ultrasound scan can also help with the following:

  •       Observing the ovaries and uterus
  •       Evaluating blood flow
  •       Diagnosing gallbladder disease
  •       Examining a lump in the breast
  •       Checking thyroid glands
  •       Guiding a needle
  •       Diagnosing prostate issues

This machine is non-invasive, safe, and does not use ionizing radiation.

History of Ultrasound

The first recorded use of the ultrasoundwas in 1794 when Italian physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani used ultrasound to study how bats navigated at night. This became the foundation for modern ultrasound physics. 

Bats produce ultrasounds in order to catch prey.

Ultrasound was initially used to detect flaws in metal casings. It was not used clinically until 1956 by Dr. Ian Donald and Tom Brown. There are no known side effects for ultrasound, making it an incredibly safe and efficient imaging device.

Advancements in Ultrasound

Ultrasound machines have become progressively mobile, easy to carry, and smaller while providing high-quality imaging. Since they are non-invasive and cost-effective, doctors can use them to track patient development without the risk of radiation.

Ultrasound technology can allow us to have an excellent view of the body’s vascular system by tracking microbubbles. 3-D imaging is also possible for more precise diagnostics.

As technology continues to expand, our medical devices tend to shrink inversely. Now, medical professionals can increase their diagnostic capabilities from anywhere in the world. For example, some handheld ultrasound devices weigh under a pound and can hook up to your smartphone, help healthcare providers quickly scan their patients—and possibly save lives.

These economical, easy-to-handle devices can change lives globally, predominantly in rural areas. It’s exciting to think that we may only be seeing the beginning of the modern ultrasound age.

How Teleradiology Can Help

Teleradiology, also referred to as remote radiology, provides medical professionals instant imaging result views remotely.  This means that patients have access to better, more immediate health care.

teleradiology servicesStudies suggest that teleradiology offers benefits, including the availability of second opinions and the possibility for remote viewing services. We at Vesta can certainly attest to this! Our clients – hospitals, urgent car centers, physician offices, mobile imaging companies, diagnostic imaging centers, and government institutions—enjoy cost-effective and unrivaled Teleradiology and Telemedicine services any time of day or night.

Covid: Maintaining Safety in the Workplace

As we head into the last quarter of the year, it’s good to review safety procedures and protocols especially as they relate to COVID-19 and emerging variants. Are you operating a nursing home, women’s wellness center, community clinic, outpatient imaging center? Let’s take care to make sure our workers and patients are safe and feel comfortable to continue their routine exams and screenings.

Freshen up on best practices you should implement at your facility to ensure end-to-end safety for both patients and workers. 

 Don’t Forget the Basics

A wellness check can be performed before entering. Taking the patron’s temperature with a laser gun and asking a series of questions pertaining to their health can offer a baseline comparison to assess if they are well and able to enter at that time. Providing masks to anyone who needs them is also vital.

 

Requiring hand sanitizing before entering the facility is usual practice in many facilities. Having alcohol-based hand sanitizer and washing stations accessible throughout the facility is one defense. Washing hands at certain times can be required for general cleanliness and hand hygiene.

 

Wearing PPE while in the facility can help prevent the spread. Approved facemasks, goggles, gloves, hair nets, shoe coverings, and more can be implemented at the job site. These pieces provides a barrier between a person’s skin, mouth, nose, and eyes, and viral or bacterial infection.

 

Maintaining distance can help. Workers making sure they are at least six feet from one another should be a goal. Doctors and nurses beginning appointments with patients by getting initial information through an iPad remotely from the next room can minimize time spent face-to-face. Another way to maintain distance is to manage patient flow—the fewer people on-site at any given time, the better.

 

While everyone should constantly be cleaning their area throughout the day, having a designated cleaning person with knowledge of which cleaners to use on which surfaces can increase this effort. For example, hydrogen peroxide kills Coronavirus on metallic surfaces. Otherwise, soap and water, bleach, or 70% alcohol-based cleaner to wipe down high-touch surfaces throughout the day has proven to eliminate Coronavirus.  

temperature checks
A woman gets her temperature checked

Education

Providing literature, statistics, news and local information regarding COVID-19 can be made available throughout healthcare facilities for those interested in learning more.

Supplement information can also be made available. In addition to taking vitamins C and D on a daily basis, zinc, essential oils, probiotics, and other immune-building substances can be emphasized. Attaining optimal nutritional status can bolster immunity and protect against disease. 

 Imaging and COVID Safety

If you operate diagnostic imaging tools like x-rays, MR machines, CAT scan machines, you should be very wary of your safety procedures for those who either have COVID or may be a Person Under Investigation for COVID. The American College of Radiology has guidance on these situations as they relate to MR use: 

 

“For patients with known active COVID-19 infection and Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19, the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommends that practitioners minimize the use of MR except when absolutely necessary, and postpone all non-urgent or non-emergent exams. In some cases, the use of alternative imaging methods such as point of care or portable imaging may be appropriate. As with all imaging, the impact of the results of the imaging must potentially affect imminent clinical management.” More here.

For questions about proper cleaning and disinfection of imaging equipment, consult with the manufacturer of your machines and check with the CDC for guidance.

radiology
Safely sanitizing imaging machines is vital

Check out this interesting read: COVID-19 pandemic: Cleaning and disinfection – What should the radiologist know?

 

Healthcare facilities have the power to serve and protect their communities. They have the responsibility to inform, educate, and heal. They can take action for the well-being of their workers, patients, and the public.

At Vesta Teleradiology

Even though we are a remote radiology company, we ensure the best sanitizing, disinfecting, and cleaning protocols in our offices. And of course, with such technology that our teleradiology services come with, our services are contactless and touch-free. When you partner with us, a Gateway application is installed remotely to allow your systems direct access to our PACS. Once linked, your technicians send exams straight from your machine to our PACS. Vesta account specialists assign it to the proper physician who read and dictate the report, it’s uploaded to your branded template where it’s easily accessible for your facility to access and download!<

 

With Vesta’s solutions, we offer a user-friendly portal for physicians to view all reports as soon as they’re available, and they are customizable, too with your facility’s information and logo. Any critical findings are immediately shared with the facility via phone, email or text.

Prostate Cancer Awareness: Encouraging Patients to Get Screened

Prostate cancer kills 34,130 men each year. With screening, this number can be dramatically decreased. Early detection allows for more treatment options and increased efficacy of treatment. However, many men are reluctant to get screened. So, the question healthcare providers (and organizations that service them like diagnostic imaging centers, mobile imaging, wellness centers, radiology centers, hospitals) and advocates are left to ponder  is—how do we encourage men to get screened? 

prostate exam
How do you encourage men to get screened for prostate cancer?

Education is the most important factor to increase the rate of screening among men. Numerous studies have found that men educated on the topic of prostate cancer are more willing to get screened. In particular, one study found a significant correlation between education and whether or not a man agreed to screening. 

 

That same study found that many men do not get screened if there are no symptoms present. As is well known in the medical community, prostate cancer in its early stages often presents with no symptoms. Educating men on this single fact would be very helpful, but it is equally important to inform them about the risk factors, symptoms, screening procedures, early detection, and treatment options. So, what approach is best for educating reluctant men? 

 

It’s a Digital World

Brochures are things of the past. In today’s world, the best way to get information out there is through the digital mediums ever present at our fingertips. The good news is there are a variety of them. Below are some ideas for spreading information effectively online. 

 

cancer screening

 

  • Social Media: Men and women are constantly scrolling Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media campaigns with eye-catching infographics and videos help spread the word. Ads can target men and women, as women play a vital role in spreading awareness and educating their partners.
  • Newsletters: Informational newsletters sent via email to both general practitioners and patients are another avenue for educating patients at a relatively low cost to healthcare providers.
  • Virtual Events: Through the COVID pandemic, virtual events have become increasingly popular. Providers should take note of this cost-effective trend. These events give providers a platform to provide in-depth education about prostate cancer and screening. They can also open lines of communication with patients, allowing men to ask questions and voice their concerns, while giving insight into areas where information strategies can be improved. Additionally, some men, reluctant to attend an in-person event, might be more willing to attend a virtual event.
  • Personal Stories: Whenever possible, it’s important to put a face to the statistics. The number above represents fathers, brothers, husbands, and uncles. With the popularity of sites like TikTok and YouTube, video is being looked to as one the most successful mediums for information-sharing. Through video, personal stories can be told in an effective and meaningful way that will both educate and connect with at-risk men. People often do not remember statistics, yet  they do remember feelings. 

 

If this country, as a whole, has learned anything throughout this past year, it is to be flexible. Experimenting with different messaging styles and mediums is important. Don’t be too rigid with any one approach. See what kind of response you get from a particular message or campaign and adjust accordingly. Just remember, you can never go wrong by getting creative.

Teleradiology

 

Our radiologists at Vesta are trained in all modalities including reading scans for prostate cancer. When your radiologists are not available such as nights, weekends or holidays, our US Board Certified radiologists are here to help fill in those gaps. 

Benefits of Teleradiology

Teleradiology Benefits

Teleradiology–what an innovative solution for healthcare providers and patients alike! You can simply think of teleradiology like having a radiologist on-call 24/7 for reading and interpreting all types of scans: MRIs, X-rays, CTs, DEXA, PET, DR, mammograms and other images.

What’s more, is that teleradiology enhances the level of patient care and support, because it allows radiologists to extend their expertise to patients and physicians without having to be physically there with them.

Teleradiology is efficient and cost-effective! Save on administrative costs associated with in-house radiology like travel and printing.

 A Partnership in Healthcare

Teleradiology offers chances for medical professionals to partner with one another when barriers of physical distance are present, allowing for substantial professional input regarding various diagnoses and symptoms.

A teleradiology company like Vesta can work specifically with each healthcare facility–be it a hospital, outpatient imaging center, assisted living facility or mobile imaging provider–to offer cost-effective and customizable solutions.

benefits of teleradiologists

Burnout, Retirement and Staff Shortage

We’re noticing specifically that the pandemic pushed many radiologists to retirement. Many hospital and outpatient systems have consolidated their radiology departments which prevents radiologists from providing services outside the system.

What’s more is that the stress healthcare workers feel can mount and burnout results. This can lead to mental health issues and even failure to properly read scans.

burnout radiologist
Mental health and physicians

Where can Vesta Teleradiology help? We offer consultation for all imaging modalities and we can deliver reports with fast turnaround for both STAT and Routine studies.

Your staff is important–they don’t always work around the clock and shouldn’t have to. With our teleradiology services, we fill in those gaps whether it’s during night hours, weekends, holidays–we provide 24x7x365 services. Nighthawk teleradiology coverage allows us to deliver the information your patients need and deserve.

Failure to Properly Read Xrays, Mammograms, CAT Scans, and Other Diagnostic Tools: The Dangers

Every single day, healthcare facilities across America perform countless diagnostic procedures. These include x-rays, mammograms, CAT scans, and more, but they all have a common goal: to help healthcare workers gain a better understanding of their patients’ conditions.

failure to read
Imaging reading errors

 

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. While many hospitals and doctor’s offices are outfitted with top-of-the-line diagnostic tools, too often healthcare workers fail to read the results properly. These diagnostic errors can lead to delayed treatment or improper diagnoses — and that mistake can be extremely costly for the patient, the healthcare professional, and the facility where they work.

What is a Diagnostic Error?

Simply put, a diagnostic error is any failure to explain a patient’s health problem in a correct and timely manner. This can mean failing to spot a health issue (failing to notice a mass in a mammogram) or incorrectly diagnosing a problem (naming benign calcification present on a mammogram as cancerous masses).

 

Unfortunately, diagnostic errors are much more common — and more costly — than you might think. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine reports that diagnostic error is responsible for 40,000-80,000 American deaths every year!

The Risks of Misreading

What happens if one of your physicians misreads a diagnostic machine? If that mistake leads to delayed care, improper treatment, or serious harm to the patient, you might be in for a malpractice lawsuit.

 

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine also reports that diagnostic errors account for the largest fraction of malpractice claims in the country — and they are awarded the highest total of penalty payouts.

 

Patients can sue their healthcare providers for misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or delayed diagnosis if that diagnostic error caused them significant harm, and the average payout for a diagnostic error is around $494,000. No facility wants to cause their patients harm (or take on that financial penalty), so it is critical to avoid diagnostic error as much as possible.

 

How To Prevent Imaging Reading Errors

How can you prevent diagnostic errors in your healthcare facility? The best thing you can do is make sure your workers are not spread too thin. If your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff are overworked and stressed, they’re more likely to make mistakes.

night coverage radiology
Vesta offers fast turnaround times and night coverage.

One great way to avoid these errors is to outsource your radiology work to a teleradiology company. Teleradiology companies can alleviate some of the stress on your staff, and having a team of dedicated radiologists on your side can help ensure that every test is read appropriately.

 

You cannot afford to go with just any teleradiology company. Vesta not only has expert, US Board Certified Radiologists, we offer customized reporting, nighthawk coverage and fast tat (fast turnaround times).

 

Contact Vesta Teleradiology today to see how our teleradiology services can help your facility avoid errors and provide better patient care.

The Importance of Mental Health for Healthcare Workers

Working in healthcare is certainly not for the faint of heart. The doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other healthcare professionals in our hospitals today are constantly facing high-pressure, high-stakes situations — and their work undoubtedly takes a toll on their mental health.

How can mental health issues impact the healthcare workers in your office? What can you do to help them find a little peace? Here’s what you need to know.

The Facts

Healthcare has always been a stressful line of work. The very nature of the job requires long, unusual hours, uncooperative patients, and sometimes even life or death situations — hardly a walk in the park. It was not uncommon to hear of physicians and nurses suffering from burnout and losing their passion for their field due to all the stress.

burnout radiologist
Mental health and physicians

And that was BEFORE the pandemic.

Now, there is no question that healthcare workers are suffering from a mental health crisis. According to a survey of healthcare workers by Mental Health America, 75% of workers reported feeling overwhelmed in recent months, 86% reported increased anxiety, and (perhaps most disappointingly) 39% of workers felt they didn’t have the adequate emotional support to deal with their current mental state.

The Dangers

So, what does all this mean?

Today’s healthcare workers are stressed, exhausted, and stretched too thin, and this can have significant impacts on the care they provide. In fact, a survey from Berxi revealed that one in three healthcare workers admitted to making more mistakes on the job since the pandemic began! This puts all your patients in greater harm and puts your facility at risk for all kinds of legal action.

The Solutions

If you want the patients in your facility to receive excellent care (and if you want to avoid lawsuits that arise from accidental malpractice), you need to give your workers the support they need to cope with the stress of working on the frontlines of a pandemic.

There are many ways to give your workers support. You can offer them free time with a counselor via remote sessions, or even assign each worker a buddy they can talk with each day about the stressors they’re facing. Sometimes, a listening ear can be hugely helpful in easing stress and avoiding burnout.

 Teleradiology Solution

Another great option for helping your staff’s mental health is to lighten the load they have to carry. For example, you can outsource work for your radiology department to a teleradiology company. This can keep your radiologists from being stretched too thin, so they can provide your patients with the care and attention they deserve.

Visit our website today to learn more about teleradiology and how it can help your workers recover from some of their workplace stress. At Vesta, we offer fast turnaround times (TAT)  to satisfy your patients’ needs as well as night coverage for STAT requirements. 

vesta teleradiology night coverage
We offer nighthawk teleradiology with fast TAT.