ARRS 2022 Abstracts


2057. Imaging Support Services: An Approach towards More Efficient and Effective Communications
Authors * Denotes Presenting Author
  1. Stefan Johnson *; Cleveland Clinic - Imaging Institute
  2. Naveen Subhas; Cleveland Clinic - Imaging Institute
  3. Elizabeth Kollai; Cleveland Clinic - Imaging Institute
  4. Christine Caruso; Cleveland Clinic - Imaging Institute
  5. Rekha Mody; Cleveland Clinic - Imaging Institute
  6. Gregory Borkowski; Cleveland Clinic - Imaging Institute
Contacting ordering providers to obtain history and communicate results or contacting technologists/IT to address problems with cases are frequently performed by radiologists. Historically, the radiologist has had to handle these tasks on their own, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. With increasing clinical volumes and rising physician burnout, our large multidisciplinary practice recently implemented a team of Imaging Support Navigators (ISNs) to help radiologists perform these tasks. The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of this team in terms of: 1) the time saved by radiologists in performing these tasks; 2) the rate of communicating results to ordering providers; and 3) the satisfaction of radiologists with the service.

Materials and Methods:
ISN support was initiated in June 2020 for a small group of radiologists and was expanded over time to cover the entire group. Each radiologist was prospectively surveyed before and at 3 months and 6 months after implementation to assess their time savings with various communication tasks as well as their satisfaction with the service. Survey data were collected anonymously. Each ISN-facilitated communication was also captured prospectively. All communicated results (critical, urgent, non-urgent) were documented in the radiology report using standardized dictation templates. ISN interactions and the usage of the communication templates during a 6 month time period between October 2020 and March 2021 were retrospectively reviewed and compared to the same 6 month period from the prior year. The change in count and rate of communications for each communication type was calculated. The distribution of reported time savings and satisfaction scores were obtained from the surveys.

Over the study period, 42 – 101 radiologists were supported by 6 – 13 ISNs who assisted in 16,349 communications (Critical – 223, Urgent – 453, Non-urgent – 13,962, Other – 1,724). The rate of communications increased overall by 48.51% (3.359% vs. 2.262%) with increased rates in all recorded categories (Critical – 22.52%, Urgent – 93.40%, Non-urgent – 32.57%). The initial, 3 month and 6 month surveys were completed by 63, 62, and 46 radiologists, respectively. Radiologists reported an overall mean daily time savings of 29 minutes (median 25 minutes, range 0 – 203 minutes). The majority of radiologists reported time savings in all communication tasks (Critical - 55%; Urgent – 64%; Non-urgent – 61-69%; Other – 72%). The radiologist’s overall impression of the service was mostly either highly positive (43%) or positive (35%) with 7% marking neutral, 2% marking highly negative and 13% marking insufficient exposure.

Implementation of ISS reduced the time radiologists needed to spend performing communication tasks, increased their rate of communications and was viewed positively by the vast majority. Use of imaging support personnel can help radiologists perform non-interpretative tasks, such as communications, more efficiently and effectively and provide them with more time to focus on reading cases.