Differences Between Preliminary and Final Radiology Interpretations  

A radiology report interprets images into words. The requesting physician who requests the radiology reports recommends treatment to their patient based on the findings a radiologist provides in these reports. A patient’s understanding of preliminary or final radiology interpretations is critical in treatment decisions.

An on-call radiology resident or technician may be issuing the preliminary radiology report at a hospital emergency room or an urgent care facility. A physician may need to act on the findings of this initial report before a final interpretation by the radiological physician overseeing the resident or technician.

Studies have shown a minimal discrepancy rate when physicians review the preliminary report with the final findings. A few factors, like the imaging technique and the technician’s experience level, account for most modifications in the final reports.

Why Have Preliminary Radiology Interpretation?

Hospital funding in rural areas and 24-hour urgent care facilities cannot always afford an on-staff radiology physician, and they rely on teleradiology interpretations. However, if a patient in pain arrives at the facility, the physician needs immediate information on how to proceed with the patient’s treatment.

 

preliminary reading
A radiologist examines an x-ray

An example may be if the patient complains about severe abdominal pain. The physician must rely on the technician’s preliminary report defining acute appendicitis and perform emergency surgery. Another example may be a possible stroke victim brought into the facility. The physician cannot wait for a final report to make a life-saving decision with the patients.

Radiologist Physician Expertise for a Final Report

Few people understand the extensive education and dedication a Radiologist Physician undergoes during their career. They graduate from medical school, complete their internships and residency requirements, and interpret thousands of exams under supervision. These are just a few of the provisions of licensing.

The extensive requirements of completing a radiologist physician program limit the number of physicians available for final radiology interpretations.

With the advancement of technology in the field, teleradiology has broadened the possibility of more accessible and punctual final reads from radiologists. In most cases, it can make the need for preliminary reporting almost obsolete.

Besides an emergency, another exception may be for very complicated cases where second reads of the imagery may be pertinent to a diagnosis or treatment plan. In these cases, it is most beneficial to have a preliminary report, a second read, then a final report issued before making any decisions.

The primary goal of physicians is to make a difference in the lives of their patients, and they can do this by having timely, accurate, and well-defined information. Continuing improvement of the technical aspects of the radiology field will allow the radiologist to expeditiously provide final radiology interpretations and assist in improving patient management.

 

final interpretation
Teleradiology offers hospitals and healthcare facilities an efficient way of completing interpretations

US Board Certified Teleradiologists from Vesta

At Vesta Teleradiology, our US Board Certified Radiologists can assist your facility with both preliminary and final interpretations, including subspecialty solutions like: nuclear medicine, body imaging, gastrointestinal/genitourinary diagnoses, cardiac angiography and thoracic radiology.

 

What Cancer Patients Expect From Doctors

Having cancer is terrifying. No matter how brave a person can seem on the outside, inside they are scared. When an oncology patient goes to see their doctor, they are vulnerable and have deep expectations. 

Ultimately, patients expect their doctor(s) to help them. This pertains to emotional support, health and medical concerns, legal rights, and even spiritual needs. Establishing good patient-provider communication is the cornerstone of this important relationship.  

Many patients have taken the popular patient-directed approach to deal with a diagnosis with the patient doing their own research, not all patients view their role in this way though. Some patients are “old school” and expect their doctor to be the informed leader and wisely guide them through their journey, especially older patients. A combination of provider-directed and patient-directed approaches is reasonable. Through this process, a doctor’s ability to assist a patient through the stress and emotions of their diagnosis is critical. Reading verbal and non-verbal cues is one of the most important skills a doctor can offer their patients. Next, a doctor needs to offer what they know their patients need, providing comfort or knowledge or listening or other support. Last, an effective provider helps their patient share power by allowing meaningful involvement in care choices. 

 

patient expectations

In addition, cancer patients expect their doctors to tell them the truth. Hearing bad news is hard. Telling someone bad news is hard also, but it is a necessary skill that patients need their doctors to be able to perform well. Providers need to be capable within the role of informing their patients of uncomfortable and scary information. An appropriate balance as a compassionate, matter-of-fact communicator is important to affect positive patient outcomes. This includes the swift viewing capability to private electronic medical information, in-person consultation, and sharing information with the family. Keeping in mind that truth without compassion is cruelty, cancer patients want their doctors to allow them free access to the truth about themselves as they are ready to receive it, and that their information record is 100% private and secure. 

 

Upholding the Patients’ Bill of Rights and HIPAA is another expectation a cancer patient has of their doctor. Although the right to access and affect their medical records and who sees them belongs to the patient, the doctor’s awareness and voice to ensure they remain protected can strengthen trust between the patient and doctor. Privacy and confidentiality are extremely important to many patients. When a doctor upholds a federal law designed for protecting patients at a time life may seem bleak, the horizon can seem a little brighter. 

Vesta Teleradiology works with doctors, hospitals, and all types of healthcare facilities in order to bring superior radiology support. Our radiologists work nights, weekends, and holidays. Look to Vesta for a radiology company that is focused on helping you provide optimal care to your patients.

Improving Patient Care with Innovative Technology

Tech in Hospitals Today

Physicians in private practice continually seek new ways to improve their patient’s care. Technology has provided an efficient and cost-effective way to maximize the delivery of health care services.

Medical communication between primary care, specialists, laboratory analysts, and hospitals has been improved and expedited through the efficiency of mobile technology and online resources.

Staff can update patient charts throughout an entire system with one update. Physicians can prescribe treatment plans within minutes, whereas before, information would sometimes take days.

The medical profession has mostly eliminated paper charts. Unique office organization methods (and some problematic handwriting) are no longer an issue with medical updating.

Technology has also offered physicians the ability to expand their office business using mobile devices and laptops. Physicians can visit and provide updates to their patients who can remain in the comfort of their homes.

Technology has provided physicians the ability to monitor special needs patients at home or in hospital settings without leaving their offices. This ability reduces the possible transmission of disease and infection from sources outside the patient’s environment.

Evolving Technology

Paper replacement and monitoring are not the only promising technology additions that will benefit physicians’ offices in the future.

Handheld ultrasound imaging has become affordable equipment. Researchers figured out how to put ultrasound technology into a computer chip rather than a $100,000 machine in a hospital. The program simply connects to an iPhone app.

 

Faster, more efficient diagnostic information is available within the confines of a physician’s office now. Programs are available that can scan the 2 million peer-reviewed research papers published every year. Clinical trial results and biomedical information can provide a physician with relationships between drugs, disease, and genes within a few minutes.

Digital capture of radiology imaging allows teleradiology reduced records to be transported almost immediately to any specialist with an internet connection. Time-sensitive treatments for head injuries and strokes can be prescribed, and more lives in rural and remote locations will be saved.

The future holds more integration of telemedicine and decision support systems for physicians. Equipment and smaller devices are more affordable to the physicians as well.

More services such as more complex surgeries may be available to physicians’ offices. With the advancement of telementoring and telerobotic surgeries, physicians may perform surgeries in their offices that would typically be performed in a hospital.

tech in hospitals

Evidence-based information and technologies can improve patient care, save lives, and save money anywhere and everywhere the internet is available–even from the physician’s office.

Vesta’s Tech Solutions

 

Vesta Teleradiology wants to improve both your experience as well as your patients’ experience. That’s why we offer tools and customizable reports that work WITH your current workflow as well as offering teleradiology to supplement your current needs. Efficiency, quick turnaround times and US Board Certified Radiologists are what make Vesta a formidable partner for your healthcare facility.

Patient Comfort During Diagnostic Imaging

The role of the radiologist has changed over recent years. The health care world once thought of these professionals as sitting in a dark room interpreting imaging data and writing reports.

Today, diagnostic imaging is used by physicians more, and the radiologist’s role has become more centrally involved with patient care. There are opportunities to connect to the patients during the diagnostic imaging process that other health care providers don’t have.

Patient comfort during any healthcare procedure provides a series of activities that gain trust and provide emotional security in the process. Diagnosticians’ communication with their patients must convey that the staff is dependable, empathetic, and knowledgeable.

Environment

When patients first arrive for their appointment, they may be apprehensive and anxious about what their diagnostic imaging may reveal about their health and future.

The waiting room is where the patients not only wait for their appointment, but it is a place where they can talk with family members. Giving the seating lots of space allows areas with quiet corners for people to speak and express anxieties they may be experiencing.

A waiting room with plants, windows, and possibly waterfalls and nature scenes provides space for relaxation, gathering thoughts, and exploring possible questions about the procedure.

Physical Comfort

Diagnosticians performing a baseline assessment of the patient’s pain levels before, during, and after any invasive procedure is essential. It is also necessary to educate staff on any pain control protocols.

Patients appreciate simple office organization like short wait times in scheduling to minimize stress. Patients also appreciate comfortable procedure gowns, comfortable room temperatures, and warm blankets, along with sheets and pillows covering the procedure tables.

By reducing the technology sounds like beepers and overhead speakers, patients can have an easier time relaxing.

Communication

Effective communication can begin with the diagnostician partnering with the patient and their families to ensure that needs and preferences are being met. By involving the patient and their family, decision-making becomes more straightforward and more confident.

Patient-centered communication skills encourage the patient to talk about psychosocial issues that may affect their health or procedures. Through this communication process, the diagnostician can respect their patient’s requests and values and address or provide counseling and resources for patient support.

patient doctor communication

The top priority in the patient and health care provider relationship is maintaining an open and honest relationship. Diagnosticians can be sure the patient understands the procedures and the results of the processes by spending time, and using any tools that can assist is most valuable.

Tools like questionnaires, pamphlets, and visual aids can help the health care provider explain the benefits, risks, procedures, and processes or what is happening with the patient’s health.

Paying attention to the patient’s emotional concerns and using their own words when encouraging them to express themselves builds their trust with their health care providers.

Imaging diagnosticians can use the time spent with the patient as teachable moments. For example, during mammography appointments, staff can inform and educate patients about the importance of colon screening and bone density tests.

It is also crucial for health care providers to practice restraint and allow quiet time for their patients. There is sometimes a tremendous amount of information to process, and it takes time for patients to deal with their feelings and formulate essential questions they may have.

enhanced patient experience

 

The importance of diagnostic imaging will continue to expand in the health care field. Advancements in cancer treatments, diagnoses, and disease prevention rely heavily on the professionalism of diagnostic imaging.

These health care professionals can experience positive relationships and trust with their patients by providing needed emotional support and conveying a genuine sense of caring.

Vesta Teleradiology wants to help you make your patients’ experience as streamlined as possible. That’s why we offer tools and customizable reports that work WITH your current workflow. We also offer 24x7x365 radiology reading services so your radiologists can have a better work life balance.