A cost analysis of an emergency computerized tomography teleradiology system

J Telemed Telecare. 1997;3(1):35-9. doi: 10.1258/1357633971930175.


We carried out a cost analysis of a teleradiology system for emergency computerized tomography (CT) examinations. Teleradiology was implemented by connecting two spiral CT scanners in the University Hospital in Innsbruck and the Regional Hospital in Zwettl. It enabled the remote hospital in Zwettl to get fast and competent reports of emergency CT examinations when there was no specialist radiologist available. In 13 months' use for routine night and weekend service, the system proved fast and reliable. During the study period 121 emergency examinations of 116 patients were transmitted from Zwettl to Innsbruck. The fixed costs of teleradiology were for the ISDN connection and amounted to DM230 plus DM696/year rental. The average cost of one emergency CT examination by teleradiology was DM372 (range 308-453). One possible alternative, transporting the films by taxi for reporting elsewhere, was cheaper (estimated cost DM156), but would have been much slower. Another alternative, transporting the patient to the nearest central hospital for scanning, was much more expensive: DM524 by road or DM4667 by helicopter ambulance.

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Emergencies*
  • Humans
  • Teleradiology / economics*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*