The role of medical radiologists in diagnostic radiology is considerably wider than the diagnostic report they create. It includes:
- The assessment of the medical record information provided by the treating physician;
- The decision whether the radiological procedure will provide the required information as well as deciding on what protocols will be used for the procedure;
- The direct involvement during the radiological procedure (if required by the study protocols);
- Radiological examination’s diagnostic assessment, its comparison with the previous radiological studies, and cross referencing with other clinical findings;
- Identification and discussion of other studies that may be required for the patient, with the treating physician;
- Participation in the audits of other radiologists diagnostic reports assuring the descriptions are accurate and complete.
Radiologists providing reports for a teleradiology services provider cannot make decisions on the type of radiological examination that will be conducted; the protocols involved, and cannot be directly involved in the procedure. When preparation the diagnostic report, they must take into account the patient's prior radiological findings and relate it to other clinical findings. They must also discuss their findings with the treating doctor (or directly to the patient) if the conclusion establishes a threatening medical indication.
Baltic RAD teleradiology service quality control measures the following criteria:
- Professionalism and completeness of the diagnostic radiology findings. Baltic RAD has implemented an internal audit system. 10% of the radiological diagnostic reports, carried out by radiologists are audited by members of the expert club. The audit also serves as a radiology training and professional competence development tool. Diagnostic reports prepared by Expert club members are not audited.
- Ensuring access to a patient's medical history and previous radiological images. Baltic RAD has the technical capability to connect to the customer's PACS, RIS and HIS systems, if the customer provides such access. Otherwise, the customer is responsible for providing information which is required for proper diagnostic conclusions to drawn from the medical images. When filling out the order form in Baltic RAD RIS the customer may attach additional files with patient health information.
- Direct contact between the radiologist and the treating physician assurance. In complicated cases, Baltic RAD radiologist should be able to contact the doctor or radiology department, which conducted a radiological examination and discuss the patient's medical history and / or diagnostic conclusion. When completing the order form in the RIS it is necessary to specify a contact person's telephone number. When providing service to healthcare institutions, the radiologist’s contact information is provided at the bottom of the report.
- Radiological image quality preliminary assessment. Internal procedures given to Baltic RAD radiologists instruct them that upon reception of defective radiological images, they must inform the customer directly. If the customer insists on a diagnosis on the submitted poor quality medical images, the report will contain a note underlining the fact that the images are of poor quality and may have a direct impact on diagnostic accuracy.
- Radiological picture viewer used hardware and software. Baltic RAD uses the highest quality, certified, medical hardware and software for radiological image viewing. The equipment meets exceeds the standards that are outlined in regulatory requirements.
- Timely radiological description.
Baltic RAD is a quality management system conforming to ISO 9001 standard.
Baltic RAD is installed on personal data protection system that complies with the ISO 27001 standard.