Survey results show that the radiologist’s availability to clinical colleagues is an important part of the imaging service. So how do you balance that availability and your regular workflow? We want to hear your thoughts below.
In 2011, Lindsay et al. published the results of a survey aimed at assessing what factors affected satisfaction with radiology services amongst referring clinicians (1). The survey was conducted shortly after implementation of a PACS system across three hospitals, and focused mainly on the changes created by improved communication between radiology and other hospital departments. Overall, respondents had a positive opinion of the impact of PACS installation, with the majority feeling it decreased the reporting times and ameliorated the working pattern for medical staff. Furthermore, there were a number of indicators showing that direct access to the radiological images did not decrease the importance of the radiology reports. On the contrary, the higher the experience of the referring clinicians, the higher the perceived value of this part of the radiologists’ work.
Many factors have been analysed, but the only one with a significant association with increased satisfaction amongst clinicians was having an approachable radiology service to interact with. The referring physicians’ desire (or, rather, their clinical need) to be able to contact radiologists directly is quite important. It demonstrates that availability of the radiologist for discussion is one of the most valuable assets of the radiological department and indicates there is a need to make it possible. Clinico-radiological meetings and an organisation that allows time for clinico-radiological communication are quite important. Availability, however, is also something quite personal.
How do we answer phone calls from referring physicians while sitting at the workstation with a long list of examinations to report? How do you keep control of your own availability to your clinical colleagues? Let us know in the comments section below.
Prof. Lorenzo Derchi is Chair of the Radiology Department of the Hospital of the University of Genoa and the ESR Publications Committee.
1. Lindsay R, McKinstry S, Vallely S, Thornbury G (2011) What influences clinician’s satisfaction with radiology services? Insights Imaging 2;425-430