Radiologist shortage frustrates Fla. hospital

A shortage of radiologists, and the resulting delay in obtaining imaging results, is causing one southwest Florida hospital to send patients elsewhere for medical imaging scans, according to an April 15 report in the Naples Daily News.

The situation at NCH Healthcare System in Naples is particularly frustrating for one physician who said he waited four days for chest x-ray results, while other physicians said the slow turnaround time is particularly onerous on weekends.

Turnover has been a problem in the hospital's radiology department since 2011, when the facility contracted with radiology services provider Radisphere for remote interpreting services but kept some radiologists on board in-house, the report noted. (Radisphere was acquired by ambulatory surgical center operator AmSurg in 2015.)

Several radiologists with Radisphere and independent interventional radiologists gave their 90-day notices to NCH last fall, according to the article. NCH followed up by hiring full-time radiologists and worked with a recruiting agency to add to staff to meet patient demand, the article stated. NCH also has kept its contract with "a third-party teleradiology company," an NCH statement added.

In the meantime, Radiology Advisors, of St. Paul, MN, is working with NCH on a solution to the shortage and report delays, according to the article.

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