Franklin & Seidelmann Survey Finds Radiology Practices Looking To Subspecialty Teleradiology To Augment Staffing
CLEVELAND, OH − April 28, 2006 – A survey of U. S. radiology group practices indicates that they are likely to consider complementing their internal resources with outsourced subspecialty teleradiology as a strategy for dealing with the cost pressures and recruiting efforts driven by the radiologist shortage.
The survey was conducted online in December 2005 by the radiology Web portal AuntMinnie.com on behalf of Franklin & Seidelmann Subspecialty Radiology (F&S). The anonymous online study, which utilized Auntminnie.com’s proprietary research database, included responses from 128 radiologists, radiology practice owners and practice medical directors. Franklin & Seidelmann is one of the country’s largest subspecialty radiology interpretation providers, with a growing network of 30 subspecialists that includes: board certified musculoskeletal (MSK), body, and cardiovascular specialists, and neuroradiologists with Certificate of Added Qualification. F&S radiologists have advanced modality training in 3.0T and 1.5T MRI, MDCT, and PET/CT.
The study indicated that practices were increasingly likely to consider supplementing existing staff expertise with subspecialty teleradiology providers on an as-needed basis, without the expense of having to hire a pool of experts as permanent staff.
Nearly a quarter of respondents (23.4%) identified subspecialty coverage as a problem in their practices, saying current coverage levels for specialized interpretations in order to support their clinician referrers’ needs were not currently offered at “appropriate” levels. Teleradiology providers are generally accepted as a strategy to combat this problem; 60% reported using a night hawk type of teleradiology vendor for preliminary interpretations for night time emergency cases, and 15% were currently using a subspecialty teleradiology vendor for more demanding, final interpretations. In all, two-thirds of respondents are augmenting existing resources with some level of outside teleradiology vendor support.
The current 15% level of those currently using subspecialty teleradiology is likely to increase, according to respondents; 59% reported they would consider it as a means “to fill in the subspecialty areas (i.e. MSK, Neuro, PET) in which resources are limited.”
“It’s encouraging to see the value of outsourced subspecialty expertise becoming so widely accepted within our industry,” noted F&S CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Frank Seidelmann. “The strategy of using our type of service to pay just for coverage needed while still obtaining high levels of subspecialty expertise will only gain in practical use in the face of current economic and competitive pressures, staffing shortages and advanced modality knowledge requirements that radiology groups are forced to grapple with.”
When evaluating which subspecialty vendors have the most to offer based on staffing and service issues, radiologists ranked the ability to provide a secure, dependable RIS/PACS infrastructure as most critical to their decisions (48% identified as “extremely important”), followed by subspecialty expertise credentials (40%), and availability for consultation with referring physician (28%). The least important factor was coverage levels for all 50 states, with 31% saying this is “not at all important.” When choosing a vendor based on reporting criteria, 63% said that report turnaround time was their most critical selection criteria, followed by 55% for report quality.
Locum tenens staffing was the least utilized strategy by radiology groups in dealing with radiologist recruiting or overload pressures, according to respondents. A full 64%, nearly two-thirds, reported spending less than $25,000 annually for locum tenens services, while just 11% relied on it heavily, spending in excess of $200,000 a year on locum tenens expenses.
The level of expertise possessed by radiology groups was uneven across subspecialty areas. The percentages by subspecialty area that respondents reported as lacking in expertise at their practices are indicated below:
- PET Imaging – 32%
- Cardiac Imaging – 31%
- Neuroradiology – 30%
- Pediatric Imaging – 29%
- MSK MRI – 27%
- Nuclear Medicine – 15%
- Body Imaging – 12%
- Mammography – 7%
Radiology group respondents reported that they receive most of their referrals from orthopedists, followed by primary care physicians/internists and oncologists. They receive the least amount of referrals from emergency room physicians and general surgeons. Optimizing access to musculoskeletal (MSK) subspecialty radiologists will be extremely important for radiology groups to maintain or to increase the amount of interpretations requested by orthopedic surgeons.
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About Franklin & Seidelmann Subspecialty Radiology (F&S)
Franklin & Seidelmann Subspecialty Radiology is a leading, national subspecialty radiology interpretation provider in the U.S. serving imaging centers, in-office practices, radiology groups and hospitals. F&S provides in-depth, clinically specific reports that meet the needs of orthopedists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, spine surgeons, cardiologists, rheumatologists, and podiatrists, among others that make up the 14,000 physicians who rely on strong academic and subspecialty expertise. The F&S network of more than 30 subspecialty radiologists, who combined are licensed in 50 states, include: board certified musculoskeletal (MSK), body, and cardiovascular specialists, and neuroradiologists with Certificate of Added Qualification. F&S radiologists have advanced training in 3.0T and 1.5T MRI, MDCT, and PET/CT. F&S utilizes a sophisticated teleradiology platform to deliver reports quickly and securely to clients and referrers. Founded in 2001 by two pioneer subspecialty teleradiologists, F&S is located in Cleveland, OH, with more than 140 clients and 90 employees.
Visit www.franklin-seidelmann.com for more information or call 216-255-5700.
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Franklin & Seidelmann Subspecialty Radiology
23625 Commerce Park, Suite 204
Beachwood, OH 44122
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