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Space evaluation, selection and layout considerations
While you can be anywhere to practice remotely the most sound idea is to be central. A proximal location to all the clients you serve will be best. This offers some presence in the service area while affording the opportunity to make the most effective contribution to that client requiring the most face-to-face interaction.
In rural areas it is best to be located in the hub with clients being the spokes on the wheel if at all possible. This may seem obvious, however, this important consideration is frequently overlooked contributing to time and revenue loss.
Often a location can be dictated by available Internet services in an area. Such a condition can dictate location selection and compromise from the best physical and proximal location. Patient image file size continues to increase rapidly with the proliferation of advanced imaging technologies. The technical life of systems is about 5 years today. Technical services with the headroom to accommodate new advents is very important. Be sure you have bandwidth assurances and understand plans for expanding those services to meet your need. Networks offering near real time data transfer speed are well worth their small-added premium over lesser services.
Reading Area Size
Pick a space large enough to set up a comfortable “command post” type work place. Consider this your habitat and avoid a claustrophobic area that confines you. You may wish to consider an attendant administrative area to take and place calls or other administrative matters providing a different break of environment from the darkened, fast paced reading area. It is a very small incremental cost for the variety it offers in the pace of the workday.
Whether your workplace is an office or a bedroom in your home you should be able to control this workplace completely. Being able to close the door, control lighting, sound and interruptions is important to productivity and continuity of thought. If you need to spend a few dollars to insure these features over the period of time you use the facility it will prove a worthy investment.
Of note, it is wise to engage a skilled person to work under your direction to complete the build out and set up of the facility. On a cost basis the time you loss doing the work yourself translates to substantial losses in revenues and frustration.
Available technical support
A remote reading operation is a technically advanced endeavor just like being a skilled radiologist. While you know what you want clinically you may need help translating that into a hardware requirement and other technical service.
To adequately support your needs today and tomorrow you should establish a relationship with persons as local as you can find that understand the hardware and software requirements for the services you wish to perform. They should be capable of assisting you with the equipment identification/selection process, installation and satisfactory operation of the software to review and interpret images.
Additionally, you should locate and engage an Internet/networking expert. This person is somewhat different than the hardware/software person in that this person understands all the conventions of the Internet and fast shipment of data across the transmission network. This person is not your cable company technical support person. The requirement is far more comprehensive than that. In remote reading your connection and effective data transmission is nearly everything. Consider your connection as the most important feature of your service and revenue stream.
Service area electronic sophistication
Certain areas because of their current state of electronic sophistication present challenges. Many areas may not be able to provide the speed and type of service that you require to operate at maximal efficiency. If this is the case it is best to know this before launching you plan rather than becoming aware of shortcomings after deploying a plan. Your networking expert can help you fully evaluate the services available to you and actually test transmission speeds, variations of speed throughout work periods, the history of downtime of that provider and service reputation.
If on evaluation you find unfavorable circumstances that result in change of plans and services that you may wish to provide it is best to know that out front and adjust accordingly. If you are presented with strong statements of claim about forthcoming changes that will match you needs and result in benefits be sure these are in writing or in the contracts you initiate. What’s in writing is the operating order when challenging the Internet contractor later.
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