Essential Tools for Radiologists

It’s no secret some factors are impacting the way radiologists interpret medical reports. However, cutting-edge technologies are revolutionizing workflows in the world of radiology. Researchers and analysts have put their focus on tapping into analytics and improving radiology workflows to increase efficiencies. Over the past few years, data volumes have increased, creating workflow challenges in radiologists. For example, the virtual elimination of transcription and introduction of a voice-recognition PACS system have taken the field of radiology by storm. As such, radiologists have to use electronic solutions to accommodate the growing data volumes. The increasing demand for more electronic solutions is one of the challenges plaguing the flow of work in the radiology world. Below is how the flow of work has changed in radiology in recent years.

Workload Automation

The increase in volume has demanded radiologists to become more productive and efficient. Radiologists will need to increase input at the beginning of the pipeline to keep up with industry trends. In the past, radiologists would not edit their reports. They would dictate these reports onto tape and send to a transcriptionist for editing. The reliance on transcriptionists for editing is now falling on the radiologist. As a result, inefficiencies have increased in the radiology field. Furthermore, radiologists are spending a lot of time trying to find referrals for their colleagues. While this seems obvious and sometimes tricky, the extra workload can wreak havoc on the flow of work in radiology. Automating this entire process would decrease inefficiencies and decrease the workload of radiologists. You may need to try several automation systems, but eventually you will find one you like that works for what you need it to.

Seamless Communication

Even an outpatient trauma center will need to work on patients referred by a doctor for imaging. As such, a trauma center may need to set up both clinic and imaging blocks to allow physicians to work with convenience. While that makes a lot of sense, radiologists will still need to maintain constant communication and create work lists to increase their efficiencies. Otherwise, it may be challenging to know when to attend to a patient. Smart work lists are critical to the success of a radiologist. Professionals often spend an inordinate amount of time on communication. Radiologists have a lot of solutions at their disposal. A radiologist can work with referral providers to establish asynchronous communication. For example, a radiologist can pick the phone and call the doctor once they come across findings such as an acute bleed. However, radiologists could spend a lot of time communicating with a physician about results such as incidental masses in the liver or pulmonary nodules.

Business Intelligence

Radiologists may need top-notch business intelligence to figure out things they need to improve to smoothen their workflow. You may spend a lot of time on a complicated case and an extra 30 minutes to make a call to communicate about it. That’s the newest challenge radiologists are facing. It’s the time radiologists know the right metrics to improve their processes. No radiologist can afford to overlook the power of business analytics. It helps them identify the data that would be useful in increasing the accuracy of their findings. You could start with determining the time patients spend in the waiting room. You also need to know some of the challenges that arise during an imaging study. Radiologists can use business analytics to find out the time each patient spend on the scanner table. You could also use business intelligence to identify the cause of delays and look for ways to make the processes as seamless as possible. Delays in the waiting room could be the reason patients late to check in for their appointments. However, business intelligence can help radiologists to revisit their entire workflow and components that could be plaguing specific departments. A trauma center can use informatics to solve communication problems and make workflow in radiology as seamless as possible. Radiologists could also turn to electronic alternatives such as text messages or phone calls to reach out to doctors so that they can relay their findings.

Radiologists have a lot of work to do each day, but it can be much easier and more efficient if some essential tools are used. Using technology to improve workflow and communication and using artificial intelligence in the workplace will greatly improve efficiency for radiologists.

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