How to think like an IT Director

Integration of anew teleradiology provider involves so many different facets including credentialing, training, workflow, customer service coordination, etc.; but this article will focus specifically on the IT implementation process.

Radiology groups alone may not have the technical or security resources often collaborate with their IT department to help ensure patient information is being transmitted and stored safely. 

Learn more about what this process looks like from one facility IT director, John, who partnered with the Radiology department, administration and his IT team to seamlessly switch teleradiology providers.

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Communication is Key

When implementing a change, getting your team on board can be the toughest thing. John started the process of changing teleradiology providers by making sure his staff, administrative suite, IT department, and other support teams were in-the-know about the policies, practices, and safeguards regarding teleradiology. They needed to know they would be working with a reliable & secure provider.

His radiology department met quarterly with the tech team to talk through project schedules and initiatives, so this was the perfect venue to bring up the transition These meetings included the PAC admin, radiology director, infrastructure manager, clinical manager, and IT director. His team discussed resources and lead time for the project. 

TIP: To kick off your implementation, start by getting all the key players in a room and establishing a timeline, tasks, and to-dos for each manager/director. 

Checking Out the Risks

Interrupting, stalling, or decreasing the quality of patient care in any way is not ideal, so John paid close attention to the risk assessment. As the IT director, he broke it down for his team into these three steps:

Step 1: Getting a “Business Associate Security Assessment”

Step 2: Doing a third-party audit

Step 3: Completing a cloud-based assessment

Audits and Assessments

Because this was going to be a big partnership with the new teleradiology provider, John conducted a security assessment that covered the following: 

  • Policy and governance

  • Access management

  • Incident management

  • Backup and recovery

  • Security for network provided systems

  • Management of personal security

  • General data security questions

  • Physical facility controls in place

This covered him from a compliance standpoint, but he also used a detailed questionnaire to make sure both his facility and the teleradiology provider were in alignment in terms of goals, transition process, connectivity, and security measures. 

TIP: Use a questionnaire to align expectations and affirm the services you are receiving.

Working with cloud-based technology can be a highly audited process, so John’s facility required a cloud assessment, or “SOT2 Type2 report”, to review how information would be managed. He also hired a third-party auditor in addition to the audit being performed by the PACS provider. 

Connectivity & Cutting Ties: John’s practice previously worked with a small teleradiology group who still had access to their systems. Additional work was needed for this turnover process and this will look different for each facility. The good news is your new provider can help with this transition to make sure there are no loose ends.
With help from our team at REAL Radiology, we ensured integration was a secure and seamless process. If you’re in the process of seeking a teleradiology provider or switching providers and wondering how your IT/Connectivity workflow will function, REAL Radiology has an easy-to-use connectivity form to help you get started. Contact us to learn more.