In a previous note, I discussed the hybrid teleradiology business model (see: Hybrid Model of On-Site and Remote Radiology for Enhanced Patient Workflow). In a nutshell, it works in the following way:
- A radiology department at a 370-bed acute-care hospital in Carmichael, California, utilizes both its on-site radiologists and remote radiology ("nighthawk") consultants to improve the quality of care and workflow.
- Cases are turfed to the outside consultants when the local radiology expertise is unavailable (e.g., neuroradiology), when the local number of radiologists is insufficient to handle the current case load, and during the night and weekends when the local radiology department is not fully staffed.
It occurred to me that this model would be ideal for smaller hospitals today who have deployed a digital pathology system or are interested in doing so. When outside consultation is required for a surgical pathology case, it could be scanned after primary review by the local pathologist. The volume of such cases would thus be small and a high-volume, high-throughput, expensive scanner would not be required. Moreover, such a surgical pathology consultation would require only an outside secondary opinion and thus, given my understanding of today's regulatory environment, would be acceptable to the FDA.
The Digital Pathology Association is planning a webinar next month focusing on the various business models that can be used to deploy digital pathology technology. Are there any readers of this blog who have successfully deployed such a hybrid model and wish to be considered as a faculty member for this upcoming webinar?