Creating a Comprehensive Customer Service Program to Help Convey Critical and Acute Results of Radiology Studies
ABSTRACT Communication of acute or critical results between the radiology department and referring clinicians has been a deficiency of many radiology departments. The failure to perform or document these communications can lead to poor patient care, patient safety issues, medical-legal issues, and complaints from referring clinicians. To mitigate these factors, a communication and documentation tool was created and incorporated into our departmental customer service program. This article will describe the implementation of a comprehensive customer service program in a hospital-based radiology department.
A comprehensive customer service program was created in the radiology department. Customer service representatives were hired to answer the telephone calls to the radiology reading rooms and to help convey radiology results. The radiologists, referring clinicians, and customer service representatives were then linked via a novel workflow management system. This workflow management system provided tools to help facilitate the communication needs of each group. The number of studies with results conveyed was recorded from the implementation of the workflow management system.
Between the implementation of the workflow management system on August 1, 2005, and June 1, 2009, 116,844 radiology results were conveyed to the referring clinicians and documented in the system. This accounts for more than 14% of the 828,516 radiology cases performed in this time frame.
We have been successful in creating a comprehensive customer service program to convey and document communication of radiology results. This program has been widely used by the ordering clinicians as well as radiologists since its inception.
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ABSTRACT: A study was performed to evaluate use of quality improvement techniques to decrease the variability in turnaround time (TAT) for radiology reports on emergency department (ED) radiographs. An interdepartmental improvement team applied multiple interventions. Statistical process control charts were used to evaluate for improvement in mean TAT for ED radiographs, percentage of ED radiographs read within 35 minutes, and standard deviation of the mean TAT. To determine if the changes in the radiology department had an effect on the ED, the average time from when an ED physician first met with the patient to the time when the final treatment decision was made was also measured. There was a significant improvement in mean TAT for ED radiographs (from 23.9 to 14.6 minutes), percentage of ED radiographs read within 35 minutes (from 82.2% to 92.9%), and standard deviation of the mean TAT (from 22.8 to 12.7). The mean time from when an ED physician first met with the patient to the time a final treatment decision was made decreased from 88.7 to 79.8 minutes. Quality improvement techniques were used to decrease mean TAT and the variability in TAT for ED radiographs. This change was associated with an improvement in ED throughput. © RSNA, 2013.Radiographics 03/2013; 33(2):361-71. DOI:10.1148/rg.332125738 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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Radiología 06/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.rx.2013.03.002