Abbeville Area Medical Center Teams Up with Virtual Radiology to Provide Radiologist Services
System will allow for quicker image reads and access to specialists
Abbeville Area Medical Center has teamed up with Virtual Radiology to provide most of its radiology imaging reads. The system has been in place since early May and has already received positive feedback from hospital staff and physicians.
With the departure of long-time Radiologist Dr. K.W. Ballentine who recently left the hospital for a position in New Mexico, Virtual Radiology has stepped in and provided AAMC access to a wide array of specialists seven a days a week, 24-hours a day, further expanding the capabilities of the department. Dr. John McAlhany of Upper Savannah Radiology Associates has also contracted with the hospital to provide in-house specialty services on an as needed basis.
“Virtual Radiology has provided us with very prompt reads on the images we send them,” said Dr. Michael Turner, AAMC urologist. “We usually receive inpatient and Emergency Department results from them in less than 30 minutes which is very fast, especially when we need input from a specialist.”
Outpatient image reads typically come back the following day. A dedicated radiologist who is a specialist in reading mammograms is also now available and reads all of AAMC’s breast studies.
AAMC upgraded its server-based Picture Archival Computer System (PACS) to Virtual Radiology’s “cloud-based” system in April that allows physician access from anywhere in the world. Physicians can view images from any computer or i-Pad, and will even be able to see non-diagnostic patient images from an i-Phone or Android. Images can also be more easily shared between medical facilities.
The new system also ensures security in the event of a natural disaster or crisis. Whereas a server-based system stored in-house is vulnerable to fires, weather, and other hazards, files stored on the cloud are protected.
“Virtual Radiology brings the nation’s top ranked radiology services to AAMC, which allows us exceptional access to specialists,” stated David Able, AAMC Director of Radiology. “We currently have more than 30 radiologists who are providing services to us through Virtual Radiology and we feel our patients are receiving excellent care as a result of this relationship.”