Like many diagnostic radiologists, the physicians of Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg, Ltd. (RAF) rotate among several outpatient imaging centers and hospitals. Unlike most radiology practices, however, RAF also provides 24/7 local coverage, with some radiologists switching back and forth between night shifts and daytime hours.
It is not easy for referring physicians to locate the right radiology subspecialist to talk to about a particular medical imaging study, in a single call. That is why RAF is introducing a liaison service in the coming months, noted RAF CEO Ed Swager.
“This is a program we are excited to roll out to the physician community,” Swager said. “It is another pathway for our radiologists to provide their consulting services to referring physicians.”
The service will be tested by selected referring physicians’ offices before it is expanded to other physicians.
Referring physicians will be able to call the RAF liaison from 8:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to locate the radiology subspecialist who is covering a particular study that day. The liaison will use RAF’s information technology systems, contact information and schedules to route each referring physician to the correct radiologist, Swager explained. Hours may be expanded, in time, based upon demand.
A RAF physician committee identified the need for a liaison service that would provide another pathway for delivering consulting services. Swager said Neil B. Green, MD, David L. Glasser, MD, and Jeffrey A. Frazier, MD, were instrumental in determining what preparations were needed to launch the program.
The liaison service is intended to fill a gap, not replace other ways referring physicians connect with RAF radiologists such as through Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) and additional channels provided by Mary Washington Healthcare and Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg. Swager said the program should benefit staff at facilities served by RAF because there will be fewer calls from referring physicians trying to track down a specific radiologist.
Hundreds of physicians in the region consult with RAF diagnostic radiologists before ordering imaging tests, and afterward, to discuss results, Swager said. RAF physicians serve patients at Mary Washington Hospital, Stafford Hospital, and the following outpatient facilities: Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, Imaging Center for Women, Medical Imaging at Lee’s Hill, and Medical Imaging of North Stafford. RAF’s interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons also serve patients at Virginia Interventional & Vascular Associates.
Once the service is available, RAF will send letters to local physicians’ offices providing details about the implementation, schedule and contact information, Swager added.