Many radiology departments across the UK have already discovered the benefits of teleradiology for shifting the reporting workflow away from the clinical setting and improving efficiencies in reporting. Following recent news of a £250 million investment in technology to improve diagnostics within the NHS in England, the value of home reporting as a solution to address the backlog, keep staff safe, and reduce the administrative load whilst freeing up more time for diagnostics and reporting is more evident now than ever.
Through its partnership with leading provider of premium display solutions LG, Hospital Services Limited (HSL) is not only facilitating the commission of an impressive volume of home reporting stations for trusts and private hospitals across the UK and Ireland, HSL also provides ongoing calibration and quality assurance services and offers independent assessment and maintenance of installations to ensure compliance and consistency whether at the hospital, clinic, office or home.
HSL and LG have partnered to deliver this technology into hospitals and clinics across the UK and Ireland over the past year following LG’s launch of their medical displays into the local market. The partnership most recently saw the commissioning of 49 diagnostic monitors delivered into the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust which will address the continued backlogs faced in Northern Ireland. By recreating the workplace environment in the home, LG and HSL are delivering a high level of professionalism, accuracy, and reliability for home reporting set-ups.
Working together to deliver efficiencies for resource-strapped radiologists, LG and HSL are reminding radiology teams of the importance of ongoing monitoring, calibration and maintenance of the at-home working environment to ensure it is best suited for the radiologist to undertake diagnoses.
Guidelines from the Royal College of Radiologists, ‘RCR Guidelines on Diagnostic Display Devices – Third edition Feb 2019’, contain strong recommendations in relation to diagnostic display devices and the ergonomic viewing environment and also advise that calibration of these devices is not just a one-off: “If commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) displays are chosen, a workplace must also operate and document a regular quality-control and calibration programme. Standards exist to ensure devices meet quality benchmarks throughout their working lifespans”. The report continues, “The viewing environment should be strictly controlled in the primary diagnostic setting. For clinical review the environment should be controlled as best achievable”. The NHS Breast Screening Programme (BSP) standard echoes the importance of ensuring quality control and continued calibration of screen set ups.
“Not only does home reporting offer a clear advantage for radiology departments under pressure, it can also encourage better access to specialists working within radiology teams as the patient is no longer constricted by geographical location,” said Graham Stewart, Commercial & Finance Director, HSL.
“Whilst the efficiencies and access provided by home reporting are certainly to be celebrated, it is of utmost importance that the quality of reporting and trust in diagnostics remains uncompromised. Healthcare providers owe it to their clinicians and patients to provide the best tools, an optimum environment, and correctly calibrated displays. To fully meet updated guidelines, our team supports the regular use of calibration software complimented with on-site visits to perform QA, calibration including 5 point uniformity, multi-monitor testing and visual pattern checks.” In addition to the maintenance and assessment of diagnostic tools and technologies, HSL’s specialist team also provides on-site ergonomic reports to help guide the implementation of the right solution for a friendly, ergonomic working environment for radiology professionals and wider disciplines including digital pathology.