VA Palo Alto Health Care System
VAPAHCS Hosts VA's First National Teleradiology Program
The new National Teleradiology Program (NTP) reviews and interprets an average of 17,000 cases from VA hospitals across the country.
Currently located at both Menlo Park and the San Bruno Community Based Outpatient Clinic, the NTP is building a standardized teleradiology system that is capable of quickly transmitting patient diagnostic images, such as X-rays, CTs, and MRIs to an NTP reading center. The NTP teleradiologists, who also have access to the patients' electronic medical records, review the case, compare to prior diagnostic studies as needed, and dictate a final interpretative report in the computerized patient record system.
Still in its development, NTP provides guidance to cases that require a 48-hour response, however NTP averages approximately two hours. In the future, NTP will have the technological capacity to respond to cases requiring a one hour response.
In early 2011, a new 19,000 square-foot Teleradiology Reading Center will open at Menlo Park Campus to house over 30 teleradiologists. Combined with an anticipated two more centers, one on the east coast and one in Hawaii, NTP's will be able to deliver 24/7 coverage to the entire VA system.
The implementation of a VA National Teleradiology Program has been recognized by VA leadership as a top priority for expansion, in order to deliver state-of- the-art care to Veterans at anytime, anywhere.