As each year draws to a close, it’s important to reserve time for personal reflection and goal setting for the New Year. During this time of reflection, you should review what’s working with your patients, staff, and radiology workflow in your imaging, hospital, mobile, or teleradiology practice. Below are four things you should take into account when doing so to increase radiology workflow efficiency in the New Year.
1. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly List
The only way to continue with the good and improve upon the bad, and the ugly is to pinpoint them, so you have something concrete to review when you develop your action plan. I recommend investing in an analytics and reporting platform to conduct monthly or quarterly reviews on your facility’s performance. An analytics and reporting platform would help you accurately identify strengths and weaknesses within your practice to effectively improve your radiology workflow, and in-turn your ROI and patient care. Here are some things to consider when assessing your facility for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Good: What’s gone really well and is helping your patients and referrers have the best experience they can with an imaging practice? Figure out what’s causing your upturn and your radiology workflow to run smoothly, stick with it, and praise the people responsible.
The Bad: What’s not going well? Meet with your staff; this is a team effort, your staff may see things you don’t. When employees are treated as part of the team and made to feel their voice counts, you’re unleashing a powerful force that will help your practice to grow.
The Ugly: Who or what is getting a lump of coal in their stocking for sabotaging your radiology workflow? What makes you want to move to a tropical island and serve rum drinks for the rest of your life homeless on the beach? Again, meet with your staff. Empower them to be part of the solution.
2. Meet with your Sales Representative from your RIS/PACS Vendor
Now that you’ve assessed the good, the bad, and the ugly, it’s time to meet with your sales representative to present your findings and develop your action plan. He or she will be able to present solutions that are already available to you through your software and/or recommend a new product or feature. If you keep up with your vendor’s newsletters, then this would be a good time to ask about any new solutions you might be interested in learning about to help you build your radiology workflow paradise. And if you don’t keep up with your vendor’s newsletters, then now would be a good time to start, as you may uncover ways to improve your radiology workflow earlier on in the year.
3. Meet with your Referrers or Send Out Customer Comment Cards
Feedback from those you serve in your community is invaluable. Much like your staff, the referrers and patients may have insight you don’t. Have your marketing team schedule appointments with referrers and listen to staff and administrators. It’s always a good idea to bring food (a breakfast of bagels and fruit or a catered lunch), so your marketer can spend more time listening to the referrers and their staff.
4. Employee Appreciation
You know the saying “happy wife, happy life”? Well the same goes for your employees. Nothing’s possible without your employees. It’s up to everyone to take the time to appreciate one another. It’s nice if there’s money in the budget for a holiday party or the like. However, if there’s no money in the budget for extras, that’s ok! Saying thank you and showing appreciation can go farther than a holiday party or bonus. Employee appreciation is the key to helping your imaging practice thrive.
You don’t always need a huge budget to improve your radiology workflow. Identifying strengths and weaknesses, working with your team of employees, and consulting your vendor enables you to make the changes necessary to increase radiology workflow efficiency. With that said, I hope you all have a joyous holiday season and a happy New Year!