How quickly can Sunset Radiology, Inc. begin receiving cases from our facility?
Answer: Sunset can be up and running in one to two days. Sunset’s expert information technology (IT) staff and communications engineers will conduct an analysis of your system and collaborate with your IT staff to configure the network and equipment on both sides – the hospital’s and Sunset’s.
How quickly can Sunset Radiology, Inc. begin providing service?
Answer: Sunset’s radiologists can begin providing teleradiology service as soon as they are credentialed at the hospital(s) being served. The credentialing process can often be expedited, depending upon the medical staff bylaws of your facility. Sunset is accredited by the Joint Commission, and has already conducted primary source verification of the credentials of our own radiologists. If your facility accepts Sunset’s credentialing, we could commence service in less than one week, thus, eliminating the time consuming process of re-credentialing by the hospital. Otherwise, credentialing by the hospital’s medical staff office usually takes two to three months. In some cases, however, provisional privileges may be granted in less than two weeks.
How fast can the images be sent to Sunset for interpretation?
Answer: Sunset’s network allows for virtually instantaneous transmission. Sunset’s servers are located in a top-of-the-line internet data center with 20 Mbps upload and download bandwidth speed, and immediate “on-demand” expansion capacity to virtually unlimited (“burstable”) bandwidth. Our radiologists’ workstations connect to networks that provide at least 20 Mbps download speed, allowing for transmission at light speed.
What is the resolution of the monitors for your workstations?
Answer: Sunset’s radiologists view images exclusively through Medical Monitors. Sunset Radiology, Inc. uses only the highest quality image viewing equipment, including 3 MP (mega pixel) diagnostic, medical grade, grayscale monitors to view medical images and 2 MP color monitors for demographic data and color Doppler interpretation.
How long does it take to transfer a study?
Answer: Studies are transmitted within two to three minutes on average. Transmission speed largely depends upon the upload internet speed at the client’s facilities, and also on the size of the image file. A typical larger-image file such as a CT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis transfers to the radiologist’s workstation in less than 5 minutes; start to finish.
What is your turnaround time from image submission to completed report?
Answer: Turnaround time is less than 30 minutes for routine cases, and less than 10 minutes for critical cases, depending on complexity.
How do Sunset’s radiologists report their results to the referring physicians?
Answer: Sunset uses voice recognition software which allows for immediate delivery of professional, typewritten reports by fax or online connection. Critical findings are telephoned in as well. Sunset Radiology, Inc.’s PACS system automatically extracts relevant DICOM data from the transmitted teleradiology image files and incorporates the data into elaborate report templates. These templates include: patient demographics, type, date and time of exam; name of the facility; name of the referring physician; name of Sunset’s reading radiologist.
Sunset’s radiologists dictate their findings and conclusions using hand-held speech microphones and voice recognition software that automatically transcribes the findings into the report templates. The completed reports are saved with the image files in Sunset’s PACS, and then distributed to referring physicians by fax or through an online connection to Sunset’s RIS. All urgent findings are telephoned to the referring physicians.
Do you have a method of handling cases of critical priority?
Answer: Critical cases are prioritized for expedited interpretation. Hospital technologists alert our radiologists to a critical priority case by utilizing Sunset’s Electronic Communications System (ECS), or by telephone. All such critical priority cases are moved to the top of our radiologists’ work list where they appear in a flashing red format and are prioritized for immediate interpretation. We are very proud of the development of this effective proprietary system which is unique to Sunset Radiology, Inc. It allows our radiologists to provide expedited reports in 5 to 10 minutes.
What type of cases will you read?
Answer: Sunset’s radiologists read all modalities. We read all traditional diagnostic imaging cases that are usually interpreted by radiologists, including CT, US, NM, MRI, and plain film examinations. Our radiologists are also trained to read coronary CT, mammography and PET.
Do you read mammography via teleradiology?
Answer: Yes. Sunset Radiology, Inc. is launching a new day-read tele-mammography practice which we expect to offer in the coming months.
What does Sunset charge for its services?
Answer: Sunset offers fair, reasonable, cost–effective pricing. Sunset’s pricing is competitive with other quality-oriented teleradiology practices. We will conduct a practice pattern and needs analysis for your group. The analysis will provide us with an understanding of the types, volume and complexity of the studies that you will be sending, as well as the hours of coverage and any other special requirements. After consultation and analysis, we will give you a precise pricing quotation.
Do you have a final read service?
Answer: Sunset offers both preliminary and final reads. Sunset is fully insured by an A-rated carrier to provide both preliminary and final reads, nationwide, 24/7/365.
How do the images get from the imaging modality to Sunset’s radiologists?
Answer: Virtual Private Networks are established to allow for quick and secure transmission of digitized images. Sunset’s technical experts will work with the information technology (IT) staff at your facilities to create a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The VPN provides a secure and seamless connection between Sunset’s teleradiology system and your imaging modalities. This allows the hospital technologists to send images to Sunset’s state-of-the-art image management servers, with the touch of a button. Our servers, which are located in a full-service data center providing 24/7 security, support, fire protection, redundant power and internet access, push the studies to Sunset’s radiologists’ workstations. The entire process is accomplished in a few short minutes.
Who takes care of the system components?
Answer: Each party maintains its own equipment. Sunset is responsible for maintaining its remote servers, the radiologists’ workstations, the image management software, and all high speed connections between the data center and the radiologists’ workstations. The hospital is responsible for its own radiology network and hardware, and for maintaining a high speed internet connection with appropriate upload speed. T1 speed or better is recommended. Most hospitals already have DICOM compliant modalities that are connected to the hospital’s network. If your facility has not networked the modalities, Sunset can assist you in creating a network capable of exporting the necessary DICOM files.
What is your insurance status?
Answer: Sunset’s radiologists are fully insured by an A-rated insurance carrier, to practice in all 50 states in the U.S.
What are the potential problems with the system and respective remedies?
A. Client facility hardware, network or internet connection failure
- Client and client hospital IT staff to repair.
- Client radiology group to provide back-up coverage during service outage.
B. Sunset server failure
- Sunset operates multiple servers functioning as one. If one server goes down, the others take over and provide full functionality. Sunset’s failover server protection allows Sunset to go back online within minutes. Sunset’s servers are co-located in a data center with backup power supply and redundant high speed connections.
- This is a testament to our commitment to invest in the highest quality equipment, software and technical support available.
- Clients’ systems also provide redundancy. Sunset radiologists may pull studies using client teleradiology systems as a temporary workaround, if needed.
- Client radiology group provides back-up radiologist coverage.
C. Sunset work station or internet access failure
- Additional on-call Sunset radiologists provide backup coverage.
- Affected Sunset radiologist switches to backup reading station and/or alternate broadband internet connection. Redundant workstations and internet access available at each reading site.
- Sunsets radiologists work from different states ensuring redundant internet capability in case of internet failure in any particular location.
Do you read from an office?
Answer: Yes. Radiologists either read from Sunset’s corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, or from dedicated home-based offices, well-equipped with state-of-the-art workstations that include medical grade monitors and redundant broad-band high speed internet connections.
Are you HIPAA-compliant?
Answer: Yes. All of Sunset’s systems and procedures are compliant with the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Who handles patient-related problems, contrast reactions, etc.?
Answer: Clients handle patient problems. The client group must handle all patient related problems such as contrast reactions, falls, injuries, etc. By virtue of our remote location, Sunset radiologists are not positioned to adequately respond to such problems. The client group is therefore responsible for establishing contingency protocols. The client group will provide a back-up radiologist or other duly qualified health care worker available to respond to patient-related health or safety issues, including consultation on appropriateness of contrast agents.
What is a preliminary report; and when does the final report supersede it?
Answer: Preliminary reports guide emergent treatment are superseded by the final report. “Preliminary reports” are created for the intent and purpose of helping to guide appropriate emergent and immediate medical treatment. For all cases in which Sunset has provided a preliminary report, the client radiology group will render the official interpretation, and issue a written final report within 24 hours. The final report supersedes the preliminary report. In comparison to a preliminary report, the final report may contain additional information regarding comparison exams and complementary imaging modalities, and may describe non-emergent findings that require follow-up. Referring physicians must review the final reports for their patients.
What about differences in opinion?
Answer: Significant discrepancies are reported to the referring physician. It is the responsibility of the client radiology group and the client radiologist performing the final and official interpretation, to communicate perceived discrepancies in the preliminary report. The client radiologist is charged with communicating any such discrepancies to the responsible referring physician in a manner that promotes continuity of expeditious patient care. The client radiologist then notifies Sunset of any such discrepancies using the appropriate peer-review form.
Do you have a Quality Assurance (QA) program?
Answer: Yes, Sunset has stringent peer review processes and standards. 100% of our preliminary reports are peer-reviewed the next day by the local, client radiologist. Client radiologists complete a peer-review form should a discrepancy be identified in one of our radiologists’ reports. Clients are asked to fax the peer-review form to Sunset’s main office. A copy of the client’s peer review form is archived and the radiologist is notified and asked to review and comment upon the exam, and the perceived discrepancy. Sunset logs and tracks all discrepancies. Sunset analyzes and trends the aggregate data quarterly. This analysis is one of Sunset’s key internal measures of success. As a testament to our dedication to the utmost in patient care, we use the discrepancy analysis to secure and maintain Sunset’s Joint Commission accreditation.
Is Sunset Radiology, Inc. radiologist-owned and operated?
Answer: Yes, Sunset Radiology, Inc. is radiologist owned and operated. Sunset’s CEO and Chief Principal Radiologist is Donald J. Boss, M.D.