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ASRT Survey Shows Medical Imaging Professionals Uncertain About Remote Imaging Practices

Mar 01, 2024

The medical imaging community expresses discomfort with managing remote imaging procedures as uncertainty in roles, responsibilities and scope of practice are not clearly defined, according to results of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists 2023 Professional Workforce Survey.

Conducted to gauge medical imaging professionals’ knowledge and beliefs about remote imaging, the survey results highlight several topics including current knowledge about remote scanning, the percentage of facilities using remote scanning and beliefs about whether non-medical imaging professionals can be taught to manage remote scanning procedures.

The ASRT Practice Standards for Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy defines remote scanning as "operator control of image acquisition from a physical location that is different from the patient."

Survey results show that 7.2% of respondents (561 people) report working at a health care system that uses remote imaging. Among that group, 89% say modality-certified personnel manage the remote imaging equipment, 87.3% say modality-certified personnel are screening and positioning the patient onsite where the equipment is located and 82.4% say modality-certified personnel are administering contrast agents when appropriate.

The survey also asked medical imaging professionals to provide their thoughts on remote scanning in general and who should be responsible for managing procedures. Most respondents, 97.1%, believe the remote technologist should be modality certified. Furthermore, 97.4% believe the personnel with the patient and equipment should be modality certified.

In addition, 75.4% do not believe that a modality-certified technologist working offsite can teach an onsite technologist certified in another modality to competently perform a procedure. When asked if they would feel comfortable managing procedures as the primary technologist from a remote location, 71.4% said no.

“ASRT is still gathering data about remote scanning and working with other medical imaging organizations to determine how it can support this evolving imaging procedure and ensure all technologists working with remote scanning are appropriately credentialed, educationally prepared and clinically competent for their specific role in the procedure,” said ASRT CEO and Executive Director Melissa B. Pergola, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(M), FASRT, CAE.

The results of the survey will be published in a white paper later this year that will outline current workforce shortages in medical imaging and radiation therapy and career pathway options.

For questions about the survey, contact [email protected].