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Changing the face of radiology: redesigning patient-focused care

Changing the face of radiology: redesigning patient-focused care

Radiology Management 19(1): 42-45

Mercy Hospital began the redesign of its patient-focused care in 1991. A steering committee composed of members from multiple disciplines was asked to create a seamless, patient-focused environment that would coordinate and align hospital resources in the service of patients and families. The director of diagnostic and clinical services served on that committee and used the committee's operating goals and principles to transform Mercy's radiology department into a diagnostic center. As part of its redesign effort, the radiology department reviewed its outpatient environment. Since so many of its patients came to have at least one of three procedures (EKGs, radiology exams and phlebotomy services) and since they must all register, the department decided to concentrate first on its registration procedure. A meeting with the medical records department resulted in the reception and scheduling staffs learning the registration process. After the two staffs went through an aggressive training program of about three months, it was possible to combine the two positions into one. Training staff members to schedule all modalities in the radiology department was next. With further cross-training, staff members now perform centralized scheduling for radiology, endoscopy and osteoporosis. Physicians can schedule such exams with only one phone call. Could technologists learn to draw blood too? Members of the healthcare team accepted the challenge to become more diversified and expand their skills. The author explains how the technologists became certified phlebotomists. With that success underway, the team accepted volunteers for EKG training. The author presents the benefits of the various steps taken, and looks at possible future opportunities in cross-training at the hospital.

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PMID: 10164981

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