The front page of today’s Roanoke Times (5-8-07) contains an excellent article about a serious problem right here in Roanoke. For starters, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital lost most of their radiologists several months ago. That group of doctors, Radiology Associates, moved most of their practice to another hospital, Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem, Virginia. The reasons for the departure of Radiology Associates are numerous but it is the impact on patient care which concerns me.
Radiologists are specially trained doctors who spend most of their day looking at x-rays and CT films in a darkened room. There work is critical in diagnosing broken bones, collapsed lungs, aneurysms, strokes, cancer, etc. Who is reading Roanoke Memorial Hospital patient’s films? Somebody in Australia or India!
It appears RMH is sending your films, via the Internet, to doctors half way around the world. How well are those doctors in Australia or India trained? How does your doctor (who ordered the radiology study) ask questions the foreign doctor’s interpretation of the film? What happens when the hospital’s Internet connection goes down?
To bad that you, as the patient, have no say in this ticking time bomb of problem!