“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” is a famous quote that cannot be more true for us radiologists. I’m sure many of you have thought about what it would be like to work from a tropical island like Hawaii to read teleradiology cases several weeks out of the year in practice. Doesn’t sound too bad? How about reading evening studies and frolicking on the beaches with a Mai-Tai in hand in the daytime? Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news; I will have to squash that thought for most of you. And here are some of the most likely reasons it won’t work.
It’s Still Relatively Easy To Hire Tele-radiologists
Although it is more expensive than a few years ago, if a practice has to choose between hiring overnight teleradiologists or a nighthawk and paying for a place in Hawaii for radiologists to read 6 hours every day, it is a lot less expensive to hire the overnight radiologist. Paying for a home for radiologists can be costly. And not everyone may want to go!
Not Everyone Can Get To Hawaii From Practice
Believe it or not, if you create an outpost for radiologists to practice on a tropical island, not all of them can pack their bags and go. Some have families, and others have obligations that root these radiologists to the motherland. It is just not easy to get there for everyonee.
Additional IT Headaches
When creating a new outpost, you must ensure it runs well. The last thing a practice wants is a malfunctioning PACS system in a faraway outpost. That burden means the imaging business must pay for excellent IT support. And, with IT support comes additional expenses to maintain the site. Moreover, if the site goes down, other radiologists in the hometown will have to come to the hospital in the wee hours.
Although not a complete game changer, with all the other issues, the location of dictations can create a headache for billing. Insurance companies do take into account the locale of the dictations. And this can make the process somewhat harder to get reimbursed. Let’s just add-on another issue to the whole!
Not Everyone Likes The Beach In Hawaii
Although going to Hawaii every once in a while to read some cases may sound great, not everyone loves the beach. Yet, your group will have to flip the bill for this privilege. Working from a beach location means you have to like crystal clear water and coconuts. What floats your boat may not be attractive to everyone!
Time Of Working May Not Be Optimal
The time difference of 6 hours is not a reversed schedule. That means that when you go to bed at 10 PM EST, it is 4 PM in Hawaii. So, if you want coverage from 10 PM until 8 AM EST, you must go to work from 4 PM to 2 AM in Hawaii. Although better than working entirely overnight, it is not perfect for many radiologists. Some radiologists are early birds!
It Takes A Bit Of Extra Effort
Finally, creating another outpost outside your location takes some work and time. And most radiologists don’t want to have to deal with extra burdens. So, although it may be nice in theory, in practice, there are lots of other issues to worry about, first and foremost!
Nice Thought, But Hawaii Probably Will Not Happen In Your Practice!
Sorry to burst your bubble. I didn’t mean to put a kibosh on your hopes and dreams. Nevertheless, we need to be realistic. As you can see, all the headaches you need to work from Hawaii will probably not be worth the effort. Although a great idea, in theory, that’s another story in practice. If you like Hawaii, you may have to go there on vacation or work in Hawaii as your primary job!