Atlanta - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation (BCBSGa Foundation), which supports the charitable activities of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, awarded $80,000 grants to 11 rural hospitals across the state of Georgia have each been awarded for the purchase of a teleradiology system.Teleradiology enables small, rural hospitals to connect with radiologists in larger cities to receive and interpret radiology images. Utilizing digital technology and specialized computer monitors, remote radiologists in Savannah, Atlanta, Macon and other major markets will be able to receive images and provide faster diagnosis and consultations to attending physicians in rural areas.

"This grant allows us to fulfill an important part of our mission—to provide access to quality health care for our members. Through teleradiology, we are increasing access not only to our members, but to all Georgians," says Monye Connolly, president, BCBSGa.

In the Spring of 2006, The Georgia Department of Insurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia launched a pilot teleradiolgy program that equipped four rural health care facilities with the technology and training needed to transfer diagnostic images digitally to radiologists anywhere in the world instantaneously, enabling quicker diagnosis and treatment. Hospitals participating in the pilot program included Louis Smith Memorial Hospital (LSMH) in Lakeland, Calhoun Memorial Hospital in Arlington, Clinch Memorial Hospital in Homerville, and Chatuge Regional Hospital in Hiawassee.

The teleradiology system participating rural hospitals will purchase with the BCBSGa Foundation grant consists of three major components: an image sending station, a transmission network and a receiving/image review station. The receiving/image review stations are equipped to receive images and consultations from a Radiologist's office in an urban location.

Source: PR Newswire

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