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Does Your Radiology Department Need a Reading Room Coordinator?

In the movement to curb radiologist burnout, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center are recommending radiology departments implement a reading room coordinator. This reading room coordinator would help decrease burnout by fielding calls traditionally answered by radiologists.

The down pour of administrative responsibilities attributes to the increasing levels of stress that radiologists face on a day-to-day basis. Teleradiology and the nation-wide move to consolidate health care systems has resulted in many radiologists feeling isolated from their colleagues and referring physicians. Assistance in managing calls could greatly reduce the non-clinical workload radiologists are expected to carry.

In the study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, the coordinator started out working just daytime hours, but then shifted to working 24/7. In October 2015, the reading room coordinators’ first month, they managed 55 requests for specialists. By May 2015, they handled more than 2,800 requests. According to the researchers, over 45 percent of the requests were designated to the emergency room and 24 percent were allocated to inpatient care.

“The service has achieved increasing utilization in our department and is now being applied broadly across radiologist and patient locations, saving substantial collective radiologist time throughout our enterprise,” write the study authors. “Given the impact to improve radiologists’ workplace satisfaction and productivity, other radiology practices are encouraged to implement similar systems tailored to their local environments.”

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