The pressures on radiology means that each piece of equipment needs to be used to its fullest capacity, to support staff and patients and give radiologists and referring physicians the fastest path to a clinical decision.
Phoenix Children’s radiology department handles around 30 to 40 patients in their MRI suites per day – up to 200 per week. Like many radiology departments, the aim is to get their patients in and out of the imaging suite – and the hospital – as efficiently as possible, while ensuring that the right images are processed quickly. The role encompasses much more than that.
From the scheduling of the exam through to the patient’s billing, the radiology administrative team is key to the patient care journey, guiding them through experiences that can be daunting; managing complicated workflows; and, seeing to additional reporting tasks and duties.
Difficulty obtaining accurate images can lengthen the duration of tests that often require patients to lie in uncomfortable positions or remain sedated/anesthetized for longer periods of time. Delays in report delivery can impact the speed at which a diagnosis is reached and treatment can begin, and there are also added costs associated with rescans.
“One patient you see is going to be anaesthetized, while another one will be awake,” says Matt Eslinger, Lead Technologist, MRI, Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “One of the hardest things that we have to do is try to figure out how best to schedule and co-ordinate those patients, and how to best operate each room that we have for them, and then how to best allocate our staff to handle their needs.”