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February 11, 2013

Managing Your Imaging & Radiology Resources

There are many methods discussed today in which to manage cost.  The bottom-line is to be vigilant in the monitoring of the daily activity in the department and setting clear objectives utilizing standard benchmarking tools

Understanding Productivity in Imaging and Radiology

Proactively monitoring volumes against scheduled work hours on a daily basis is necessary to meet budgeted productivity.  A volume by time of day report by modality provides a method to determine staffing needs.  Volume trends on inpatients, outpatients, and emergency patients will determine specific staffing needs.

Efficiency through Cross Training

Look for areas where the sharing of technologists can occur.  For example, cross training diagnostic technologists into CT can reduce the need for staffing, on-call, and/or overtime of CT technologists during second or third shift.  In order to entice staff to cross train into another modality, there must be an incentive to do so:

  • Set minimum requirements to qualify for cross training.
  • Create a job description and pay scale for all cross-trained positions.
  • Limit requests to approved positions only.

Performing a cost benefit analysis to show that the cross training will save on FTE's and benefit the organization is often necessary to get staff and leadership buy-in.

Supply Cost Management

Work with your staff, physicians, and materials management to:

  • Reduce waste by looking for ways the Radiology department utilizes supplies and linen.  Identifying overuse and waste can save on supply and linen cost.
  • Consult with physicians and materials management to standardize high cost products (IR supplies, Contrast, Injector syringes, etc.)
  • Analyze stock par levels to reduce outdated/expired items.

Equipment Utilization Rate

Having a strong understanding of your equipment utilization is a good starting point for measuring your department's efficiency providing insight into potential problems related to scheduling, staffing, volumes, etc. 

For more information, read the full article at ADVANCE for Imaging & Radiology Oncology.

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