Teleradiology is rapidly establishing its presence as an effective solution to the problem of provision of radiological services in remote locations. Although significant effort has been put into the development and establishment of quality assurance (QA) processes required for the implementation and conduct of this new technology, little attention has been given to the possible use of teleradiology in enhancing quality and safety of radiological practice, and as an alternative to conventional quality improvement (QI) initiatives. This paper critically evaluates teleradiology from the point of view of its potential use in QA/QI and considers its possible advantages as well as limitations. Considering the unique features of teleradiology such as remote access that can be simultaneous at multiple sites, rapid transfer of information and computerized data storage as well as good reproducibility and reliability of data, the authors argue that teleradiology represents an ideal tool which can not only be equivalent to other methods of QA in radiology but in some instances may be superior to them.
- Quality assurance
- Quality improvement