This case study details the experience of system engineers of the Imaging Science and Information Systems Center, Georgetown University Medical Center (ISIS) and radiologists from the department of Radiology in the implementation of a new Teleradiology system. The Teleradiology system enables radiologists to view medical images from remote sites under those circumstances where a resident radiologist needs assistance in evaluating the images after hours and during weekends; it also enables clinicians access to patients’ medical images from different workstations within the hospital.
The Implementation of the Teleradiology project was preceded by an evaluation phase to perform testing, gather users feedback using a web site and collect information that helped eliminate system bugs, complete recommendations regarding minimum hardware configuration and bandwidth and enhance system’s functions, this phase included a survey-based system assessment of computer configurations, Internet connections, problem identification, and recommendations for improvement, and a testing period with 2 radiologists and ISIS engineers; The second phase was designed to launch the system and make it available to all attending radiologists in the department.
To accomplish the first phase of the project a web site was designed and ASP pages were created to enable users to securely logon and enter feedback and recommendations into an SQL database.
This efficient, accurate data flow alleviated networking, software and hardware problems. Corrective recommendations were immediately forwarded to the software vendor. The vendor responded with software updates that better met the needs of the radiologists. The ISIS Center completed recommendations for minimum hardware and bandwidth requirements. This experience illustrates that the approach used in collecting the data and facilitating the teamwork between the system engineers and radiologists was instrumental in the project’s success. Major problems with the Teleradiology system were discovered and remedied early by linking the actual practice experience of the physicians to the system improvements.