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Video Conference Could Facilitate Relationships between Radiologists and ICU Clinicians

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 16 Aug 2018
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Image: A new report suggests that video conferencing between radiology and ICU professionals could enhance patient care (Photo courtesy of iStock).
Image: A new report suggests that video conferencing between radiology and ICU professionals could enhance patient care (Photo courtesy of iStock).
Radiologists and intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians who have not been connected for a decade can improve their relationships as well as quality of care through immersive video conference, according to a group of physicians from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA, USA).

The physicians have reported in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) that interaction between radiologists and caregivers has diminished following the advent of PACS. Most large centers have abandoned radiology rounds, the daily film review with ICU clinicians and radiologists, mainly because clinicians are unable to leave their units and their critically ill patients to visit the radiology department. Additionally, radiologists are required to remain in the department to cover contrast injections and consultations, and there has been an increase in the volume and complexity of cases, leaving very less spare time for spending on other work. Moreover, technological advancements, such as convenient filing into electronic medical records and the use of voice recognition for achieving faster turnaround, have led to “unexpected negative consequences.”

Previous studies have indicated that morning rounds can benefit about 80% of radiologists to some extent and significantly impact the course of treatment or clinical interpretation of several cases. At the pediatric and neonatal ICUs in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which had not witnessed such briefings for the last 10 years, the group of physicians arranged for virtual meetings via Skype between a radiologist or pediatric radiology fellow and ICU clinicians. Before reviewing about five current cases, the presenters also gave a microlecture of about three minutes.

Following the 17-session trial, 20% of the participants reported a major improvement in confidence after the virtual morning rounds and 68% reported a moderate improvement, while 12% saw no change. The authors concluded that the study demonstrated a strong link between interactive rounding and clinical patient care and the microlectures appeared to significantly impact pediatric trainees in spite of their short duration of about five minutes. Additionally, the authors also noted that the clinical plan of care for several cases were reinforced or altered by the collaborative rounds.

“Through the creative use of technology, it is possible to circumvent workflow limitations to recreate meaningful consultation and radiology education between radiologists and ICU physicians,” the authors wrote. “Bringing radiologists closer to the point of care and improving interaction with referring providers has the potential to further improve patient care.”

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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

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