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.

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.

Totally Rad: Thanking Those in Radiology

Thanking Radiology Technicians

Earlier this month, the nation observed National Radiologic Technology Week (NRTW) but we believe this celebration really should be all year round.

Radiology technicians are wonderful. They are also smart to have chosen their profession. In addition to having one of the most diverse and interesting jobs, the median annual wage for magnetic resonance imaging technologists was recently at $74,690, and the job market is expected to grow 9% by 2030.

 

rad tech

In simple terms, a radiology technician’s job is to produce images of inside the human body. They are known by various titles including x-ray technologist, radiographer, radiologic technologist, and rad tech. Specific titles in certain fields of radiology are sonographer, CT technologist, MRI technologist, and nuclear medicine technologist. Regardless of their title, they all take images mainly of the chest, abdomen, hands, and feet. Some technicians perform an imaging process called fluoroscopy. This process involves injecting or swallowing dye and is done in real-time as a doctor examines a patient. Radiological technologists perform various imaging services ranging from computer tomography to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and more. All of these services are categorized as diagnostic imaging or medical imaging and aid in diagnosis and treatment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of the radiology technician involved a high level of risk. As frontline workers, they knowingly submitted themselves to possible exposure to pathogens to attain the needed chest x-rays of critically ill patients. Their dedication is beyond admirable. Their skill set of conducting the necessary imaging, cross-checking information, and reporting examination results was vital in saving lives. In addition, their consent to subject themselves to possible radiation exposure and COVID-19 infection to aid a diagnosis demonstrates the impeccable character of these professionals.

Despite implementing the highest level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety protocols, the possibility of infection, and ultimately death, was always present. Many radiology technicians did die due to their daily work. Astonishingly, many continued despite having lost loved ones and co-workers. Knowing death was always a possibility and moving forward with their job in spite of it categorizes these brave workers as being highly revered and even prized instrumental warriors in the fight against COVID-19.

 

radiology

The information radiographers have compiled throughout the pandemic has helped determine the most effective path to take in combating it. Not only does imaging indicate early detection of COVID-19, but it also provides information on other supplementary diagnoses and follow-up of critically ill patients.

One study compared the number of early detection chest CT scans and chest x-rays from March 2019 – March 2020 to March 2020 – March 2021. The results showed an exponentially higher number of scans for the second group. Although these results proved the scanner’s sensitivity for early diagnosis of COVID-19, they also indicated an unnecessarily high and dangerous level of radiation exposure to patients and radiographers. When submitted to the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine a safe level of radiation for patients and workers, these results aided the WHO to comprise a Rapid Advice Guide for The Use of Chest Imaging in COVID-19.

Thanks to the radiology technicians who performed these examinations and compiled this data, this guide was possible. Now, radiographers and patients can be safer.

The interesting and varied jobs they get to do along with the safeguarding they practice and the attitude they bring to their work shows that radiology technicians are totally rad!