The Radiology Department started providing teleradiology services to the State of Arizona in 1997 after a pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of using digital imaging technologies to acquire, transmit, store and display radiographic images.
Today the department serves over 20 sites around the state, interpreting computed radiography, CT, MRI, ultrasound, mammography, and fluoroscopy cases for sites and patients who otherwise would not have access to sub-specialty radiologists. Key research studies in teleradiology have focused on user satisfaction with the teleradiology services, what factors impact the quality of images in the acquisition, transmission and display phases, and what types of cases are being sent from each referring site. Recently the Radiology Department has combined efforts with the Pathology Department to establish UltraClinics for mammography and prostate imaging patients. The goal is to reduce significantly the time required to get radiographic images interpreted so that if necessary a biopsy can be obtained and interpreted with 48 hours compared to the more traditional 4-6 weeks for radiology and pathology services. The Teleradiology Program is associated with the Arizona Telemedicine Program and utilizes the network infrastructure to provide services to communities around the state of Arizona.