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

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

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.

 

Trends in Ambulatory Care

When an emergency happens, riding in an ambulance may be necessary. Life may be at stake, and the ambulance must get the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible to receive care. Many people understand the ambulance ride is a transitional time, and the medical care begins once the patient arrives at the hospital. That is why they have to hurry. Cars on the road stop or slow down, understanding the urgency.

In recent years, this has changed. Although typically, an ambulance transports a patient, that is not the only thing it does. Some treatments can be performed while riding inside the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

diagnostic imaging

First, CT scanners onboard ambulances have been assessing patients for stroke for many years. An ambulatory stroke center allows treatment to begin before the patient arrives at the hospital, saving precious time. In addition, consultation with a doctor through telemedicine while in an ambulance also aids in treatment. The care offered in these mobile units saves time which has been shown to prevent further damage to the brain.

Second, the practice of diagnostic imaging performed by non-radiologists on an ambulance has grown. In addition to stroke evaluation, ultrasonography of the airways, breathing, circulation, disability, and environment/exposure (ABCDE) has advanced. New ultrasound devices and other diagnostic imaging technology have allowed healthcare professionals to discern needed medical services during ambulatory and aeromedical transport. The information gained through this diagnostic approach supports the care team’s decisions regarding the best treatment and destination.

Third, patient safety awareness has improved. Now the ambulance transport experience can be less stressful. Specific steps keep the patient, family, and staff working together for a successful transition to a care facility. This collaboration entails screening the patient and conferring with the family to identify high-risk priorities and symptoms for the plan of care. Asking the patient their preferences, values, and goals can allow a sense of ownership to the patient fostering their sense of involvement with their transport. Hospital staff discussing paperwork with the family caregivers and patient promotes communication, continuity, and a sense of trust. Educating the family and patient about how the transport will be coordinated helps maintain relationships with all involved and provides a secure and seamless ambulatory experience.

Over the past decade, the information management and care coordination associated with ambulance transport has increased. Due to diagnostic imaging and a shifting focus on ambulance capability, a pre-hospital point of care culture has evolved. This focus has aided prompt and appropriate medical care and improved patient quality of life.

ambulance care 

Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging

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

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.