Reading room assistants to reduce workload and interruptions of radiology residents during on-call hours: Initial evaluation

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PURPOSE: To determine how much timesaving and reduction of interruptions reading room assistants can provide by taking over non-image interpretation tasks (NITs) from radiology residents during on-call hours.

METHODS: Reading room assistants are medical students who were trained to take over NITs from radiology residents (e.g. answering telephone calls, administrative tasks and logistics) to reduce residents' workload during on-call hours. Reading room assistants' and residents' activities were tracked during 6 weekend dayshifts in a tertiary care academic center (with more than 2.5 million inhabitants in its catchment area) between 10 a.m. and 5p.m. (7-hour shift, 420 min), and time spent on each activity was recorded.

RESULTS: Reading room assistants spent the most time on the following timesaving activities for residents: answering incoming (41 min, 19%) and outgoing telephone calls (35 min, 16%), ultrasound machine related activities (19 min, 9%) and paramedical assistance such as supporting residents during ultrasound guided procedures and with patients (17 min, 8%). Reading room assistants saved 132 min of residents' time by taking over NITs while also spending circa 31 min consulting the resident, resulting in a net timesaving of 101 min (24%) during a 7-hour shift. The reading room assistants also prevented residents from being interrupted, at a mean of 18 times during the 7-hour shift.

CONCLUSION: This study shows that the implementation of reading room assistants to radiology on-call hours could provide a timesaving for residents and also reduce the number of times residents are being interrupted during their work.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's5
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Radiology
Vroegere onlinedatum17-feb.-2024
StatusPublished - apr.-2024

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