Teleradiology, a subcategory of eHealth, was aimed at providing specialised radiological services to such communities, by means of telephone lines and internet connectivity. The Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati (RSM) district of the North West province, was one of several sites across South Africa, where teleradiology was first implemented. There have been no reports of teleradiology progress that the researcher could find in the Dr RSM district to determine whether the community is benefiting from this already established infrastructure. What is known about teleradiology in this district, is through the observations of the researcher, who expressed concern that the teleradiology end users seem to be experiencing challenges with regards to CT examinations. This has appeared to the researcher as resulting in a compromised teleradiology service to the rural community. Some of the teleradiology challenges observed in this district were similar to those noted in literature, both globally and locally.
Aim of the study
The aim of the study was to explore and describe the views of the teleradiology end users on the utilisation of teleradiology for CT examinations and the impact it has on health care service delivery.
A qualitative research approach, with an exploratory descriptive design were found to be appropriate to gain an in-depth understanding of the research problem and address the research question. Focus group interviews were conducted with three key teleradiology end users, namely the radiographer, referring clinician, and radiologists. Collected data were transcribed verbatim and analysed by means of rigorous content analysis processes to ensure trustworthiness of the research findings. From the analysed data, three major themes emerged, namely; a) factors that positively impacted teleradiology utilisation and service delivery, b) factors that negatively impacted on teleradiology utilisation and service delivery, as well as c) strategies for improving teleradiology utilisation and service delivery. Conclusion
The following findings were made: namely; a) teleradiology is being utilised for CT examinations in the Dr RSM district, b) the teleradiology end users have respect for each other’s professional identity, c) onsite teleradiology end users want to be upskilled and d) there is a need to strengthen teleradiology infrastructure. The researcher therefore concludes that teleradiology is being utilised in the Dr RSM district, despite there being several aspects that need be addressed to improve its utilisation and service delivery to the community in the Dr RSM district.
Dissertation (MRadiography)--University of Pretoria, 2018.