Clinical hub allows GPs and radiologists to collaborate

Intelerad has launched a new clinical portal that will allow radiologists to communicate with referring doctors in real time.

InteleConnect Clinical Hub is an extension of Intelerad's InteleConnect product, which was launched about two years ago to allow referring doctors to view images and reports without having to install local software.

The web-based system works on any browser on any device, including desktops, iPads and smartphones.

Gary Moss of local distributor Health Imaging Solutions said the Clinical Hub would now allow referring GPs to check for results online but also know when the patient booked an appointment and whether they attended or cancelled.

“Clinically that may be significant if there is a significant pathology that should be investigated,” Mr Moss said. “It is helpful for the doctor that know whether the patient has elected not to proceed.”

The solution also allows GPs to have streamlined views of only their patients' images and activity, and has new functionality that allows the radiologist to communicate with the referring doctor to discuss any abnormalities.

It also allows the GP to grant access to the patient's report and images to a specialist.

“It is all part of helping the doctors collaborate in the continuum of care,” Mr Moss said. “When the referring doctor is reading the report, the referrer can then engage the radiologist via a secure messaging service.

“If they have follow-up questions or they don't understand something, they might be looking for some advice on how to manage the patient. A radiologist is a clinical specialist and there is an opportunity here for them to interact in real time.”

The service also operates on a radiologist-to-radiologist basis, so sole radiologists in private practice can get a second opinion from a colleague.

The solution is “zero-footprint” and browser- and PACS-agnostic so it can be used with non-Intelerad PACS. “We have a few public hospital clients that have bought PACS that don't have referrer connectivity tools and we've been able to install our product in front of that,” Mr Moss said.

“Obviously we'd prefer that they use IntelePACS but it is standards-based at the back-end so we can run with other parties' PACS.”

And because it is zero-footprint, hospital IT departments are usually happy as they don't have to open special ports or give people permission to install the different applications, he said.

Software does have to be installed at the radiologist's end as Mr Moss said there is no substitute for high-end imaging.

“While the GP is probably not interested in volume rendering, where you generate a 3D image based on a CT scan, certain specialists are very interested in that sort of thing and they want to be able to perform those sorts of functions. For these users fully functioned installable software is available. Many specialists are Mac rather than PC users so a version is available to run on the Mac platform.”

When the radiologist has a report ready, the referring doctor is notified using a secure messaging service. Intelerad has developed an iOS app which will provides pop-up notifications on an iPad or iPhone. Users will have to download the free app, which is available from the iTunes App Store.

Otherwise, an email is sent to the referring doctor. “You get an email that says XYZ Radiology has a result for you or XYZ Radiology has an urgent result for you. Then the GP logs on and the browser session will authenticate them and then they have access to the report and can communicate with the radiologist if necessary.”

Intelerad has developed a self-service kiosk so GPs can register for a user name and password and to request to log on to an individual radiology practice.

“A message goes to the practice administrator to say a doctor wants to become a referrer and have access to images, and all they have to do is click a button and approve that,” Mr Moss said.

It will also allow closer collaboration between the referrer community, as GPs can allow individual specialists to log on to see their patient's report and images.

“Once the report comes back and the GP wants to then refer the patient on to an orthopaedic surgeon, there is often a connectivity problem because the record has been restrained to just that GP. Traditionally what that has meant is that when you go on to the specialist, the specialist can't get access to your record.

“We've now got facilities to track and allow our referrers to put in electronic requests as part of the referral process to ensure that the specialist has access to the record, so when you turn up for your consultation with the surgeon, they can have a look at your x-rays and CTs and the radiologist's report online.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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