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PI 1 - Improving efficiency in radiology departments

Friday, March 3, 10:30 - 12:00 Room: M 2 Session Type: Professional Issues and Economics in Radiology (PIER) Topics: Radiographers, Management/Leadership, Professional Issues Moderators: J. A. Brink (Boston/US), S. Morozov (Moscow/RU) Add session to my schedule In your schedule (remove)


A. How to identify radiology productivity bottlenecks?

S. Morozov; Moscow/RU

Learning Objectives

1. To review the metrics of shared radiology workflow in the domains of efficiency, quality and safety (what).
2. To demonstrate various methods and techniques for total productivity improvement (how).
3. To delineate the roles of individuals and teams in productivity improvement cycle (who).


The shared radiology workflow consists of physician’s referral, study approval, scheduling, patient arrival, imaging, reporting, validating, and results distribution. The performance of this process can be measured on different levels: resources utilization, current operations and outcomes. The end-result of the process is defined by the goal, which can also vary. The major goals are effectiveness (e.g. high-quality, high-safety, high-volume, high-accessibility services, patients’ and physicians’ satisfaction), efficiency (cost-effectiveness, cost-control, revenue generation) and health improvement (better treatment because of accurate diagnostics, less morbidity and mortality because of early diagnostics). The problem with the radiology services is that we often incorrectly measure incorrect metrics. Wherever we see systematic measurement of results in health care—no matter what the country—we see those results improve (R.S. Kaplan, M.E. Porter). Hence, we should move from current radiology operational metrics (report turn-around-time, back-log time, discrepancies, equipment utilization rate, revenue) to clinical operational metrics (diagnosis-related delays of treatment, time to begin treatment) and outcome measurements (patients’ and clinicians’ satisfaction, gross margin of services, involvement in disease-specific clinical teams). The best method for tackling ‘bottlenecks’ is time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) through better resource utilization, standardized processes, proper staffing, and logistics optimization. Building an enabling IT platform is the key for embedding the changes in the system. Ideal physician measurements are aligned to electronic data collection, attributable to individuals, cascade from organizational goals, supported by evidence and physicians, comparative, and transparent.


B. How to optimise radiology with big data: Medical Analytics Group (MAG) project

O. S. Pianykh; Newton Highlands/US

Learning Objectives

1. To highlight the need for big data analysis in radiology management.
2. To provide examples of already implemented data-driven radiology optimisation.
3. To illustrate the challenges of big-data analysis and project implementation.


With medical technology becoming increasingly complex, and expected outcomes - more demanding, the cost of medical errors, delays and guesswork grows prohibitively high. To deal with these challenges, contemporary radiology has to rely on objective metrics and knowledge, applied to optimize its operations and decision-making. These metrics and their performance patterns can be most efficiently learned from the (big)data that our hospitals have been accumulating since the beginning of the digital era. Currently, most of these data are recorded and used only when the patients are examined; then it gets warehoused in the RIS, PACS and similar databases, remaining completely idle and forgotten. Transforming these data into the most effective and objective problem solver was the main idea behind the Medical Analytics Group (MAG) project, recently launched by the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. The principal purpose of MAG is to apply data science to routine radiology problems, looking for the best possible solutions. In this presentation, we will share our most interesting results, important successes, and thought-provoking challenges.


C. How to implement system changes?

G. Paulo; Coimbra/PT

Learning Objectives

1. To learn about the importance of teamwork towards the establishment of a good work environment.
2. To understand the impact of good communication strategies in increasing staff satisfaction.
3. To discuss about the influence of the organisational culture in professional empowerment.


Health care organizations are complex sociotechnical environments where highly differentiated health professionals come together to provide, what is expected to be, the best quality of care to the patients. However, it is important to be aware that an asymmetric scientific and professional knowledge between health professionals and even inside each profession is a reality and consequently a barrier to implement a harmonized practice. To improve efficiency in radiology departments it is crucial to deliver patient care based on a well-established teamwork model, by providing team members with clear guidance, as a tool to allow them to be capable to undertake their role with professionalism and be able to identify when errors occur and how to recover and correct those errors. The department leaders have the responsibility to create and maintain a good working atmosphere by developing well-established communication channels and by empowering all staff members. Implementing system changes demands for understanding the paradigm shift of the social behaviour, influenced by the digital era and make adequate adaptations. Health care organizations are opened systems, influencing and being influenced by the internal and external environments. It is crucial for radiology departments to adapt to the new era. The challenges are manifold: to improve efficiency; to increase visibility in patient clinical workflow; to avoid commoditization, amongst other important aspects that will be presented during this session.


D. Making the business case for patient-centred imaging care

M. H. Maurer; Berne/CH

Learning Objectives

1. To identify health system priorities around patient-centred care.
2. To develop reporting and improvement programmes that align with health system priorities.
3. To build influence through leadership and performance in patient-centred care.


Patient-centred health care aims to organize health care facilities around the needs of patients and their families. Also in radiology, the traditional business model of radiologists being “doctors to other doctors” is changing towards a patient-centred imaging care where the patient is placed at the centre of the health care environment and the imaging service is organized around the patient’s needs and preferences. In this talk, the different dimensions of patient-centred imaging care (e.g. effective communication, education of the patient, emotional support) will be discussed to empower patients to participate in their medical care and decision-making. Several key indicators to build a patient-centred environment such as appropriateness of imaging procedures, scheduling and registration, physical comfort during imaging procedures, management of radiation exposure, and development of reporting programs will be presented as well as methods to redesign radiology processes towards a patient-centred imaging care.

Panel discussion

no recording

(no abstract)

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