ATLANTA, Jan. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In Healthcare and in the field of Teleradiology where there is a major emphasis on Emergency Medicine, Critical Results Notification, and Turn Around Times, downtime is not an option.
USTeleradiology, LLC (UST), is a Joint Commission Accredited, Atlanta, Georgia based Teleradiology and Radiology Practice Management Company.
UST's patients' lives depend on its ability to deliver accurate results fast. Inclement and even catastrophic weather conditions that might disrupt a "normal" business must be anticipated and planned for.
Business continuity planning, redundant systems and co-located assets matter and are a major part of UST's operation.
On Sunday, January 9, 2011 USTeleradiology, LLC, was put to the test. That test lasted a full business week. USTeleradiology passed the test and was there for its patients and clients.
Here is what happened:
On Sunday, January 9, 2011, Atlanta experienced its most significant snowfall in over 3 decades.
As the snow continued to fall in the early morning hours of Monday, January 10, 2011, the temperature increased slightly turning the snow to sleet and freezing rain.
That combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain was the recipe for the "perfect storm" that left most of Atlanta paralyzed and its roads encased in ice from Monday through mid-day, Friday, January 14, 2011.
Every major interstate highway, nearly all state highways, many major intersections, and most major thoroughfares, including parts of Piedmont Road, Peachtree Road, and GA 400, were closed or impassable.
Federal and State Courts, The Post Office, Federal Express, UPS, State Offices, Federal Offices, city and local bus service, gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, businesses, doctors' offices…just about everything was shut down due to the thick layer of ice that covered our city and surrounding communities.
During this period, USTeleradiology remained open and provided 24/7 emergency and routine radiology services for its clients. Some of our clients who are radiologists were unable to make it to their hospitals due to the ice and we covered for their practices.
USTeleradiology leveraged its Teleradiology Centers and Radiologists in Los Angeles, Tampa, Palm Springs, Hawaii, and Suburban Philadelphia to provide nonstop radiology services when almost everything in Atlanta was frozen and paralyzed by the ice.
UST's Atlanta Headquarters remained open and operational as a result of the pre-positioning of staff in local hotels, and the availability of cots and air mattresses in the office. The same dedicated teams of Radiology Assistants and Supervisors who worked Sunday night and Monday morning, spent the week working twelve to sixteen hours on and off, sleeping in hotels away from their families, and supporting our Radiologists in the care of our patients until Friday, January 14, 2011, when our last team members checked out of the hotels and headed for home.
UST's Atlanta based radiologists who were able to make it into the office braved the slick roads each day to provide care for their patients.
Other Atlanta area Radiologists, who were rendered immobile by the ice, provided service from home as part of our Business Continuity Plan.
Some area hospitals did not have radiology service for all or some of this period. However, hospitals serviced by UST's client and affiliated entity Quantum Medical Radiology received service as their onsite radiologists were able to leverage USTeleradiology's technology and workflow to provide final reports for their facilities without interruption.
Every event like this is a learning experience. While USTeleradiology was able to remain up and provide service to its patients and clients during the most significant weather event in over 3 decades, we learned much about ourselves and our operations. This week, we will be conducting what the Military would call a full "After Action Review" where we will examine what we did well, and what we could do better.
USTeleradiology will continue to improve and we will modify processes and procedures to ensure that we will be there again when needed the next time something like this happens; just like we were last week, even if the conditions are worse.
USTeleradiology is an Atlanta based Teleradiology and Radiology Practice Management Company that provides Teleradiology, Onsite Services through its partner Quantum Medical Radiology, and Practice Building services to clients across the United States. For information about USTeleradiology, LLC contact Chief Operating Officer, Mark Stevens at [email protected] or by dialing 404-870-2812.
SOURCE USTeleradiology, LLC