Nonmedical personnel requirements for a pediatric radiology department
The primary goal of a successful pediatric radiology department is to arrive at the correct clinical diagnosis as soon as possible. This responsibility is shared by radiologists, technologists, nurses, secretaries and clerks. The goal of this study was to determine the optimum number and type of nonmedical staff required to correctly and efficiently perform these examinations. The secondary purpose of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of technologists, nurses, secretaries and clerks regarding: 1) patient waiting time, 2) performance of multiple examinations, 3) actual time for completion of examination(s), and 4) time required for the radiology report to be in the patient’s medical history. Our study analyzed the number and type of radiological examinations performed for a variety of patients (emergency room patients, outpatients and inpatients) examined in the Radiology Department of Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, a 345 bed metropolitan pediatric teaching hospital. The results of these evaluations will be discussed in this paper. Our data suggests that the time spent by the technologists in psychological support of the parents and the patient is inversely proportional to the time required to complete the test.
Based on our study and the conclusions it presented, significant changes were implemented in our pediatric radiology department; specifically, the number of clerical positions was reduced from three to one with the use of computer-assisted check-in and chart follow-up within the department.
Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles is a 345-bed metropolitan pediatric teaching hospital affiliated with the USC School of Medicine. The Pediatric Radiology Department at Childrens Hospital has grown rapidly during the last ten years such that presently, 60,000 procedures are performed annually. These include diagnostic radiographic procedures, Computerized tomography, nuclear medicine and ultrasound procedures. Consequently, staffing patterns and systems that worked well two to five years ago are inadequate today.
With the advent of new technology and the increasing acuteness of pediatric conditions, many more patients are requiring more sophisticated radiographical interventions; such as CT, ultrasound, MRI, or nuclear imaging in addition to conventional radiographs. These interventions demand greater time and attention on the part of all staff involved.
Regarding the procedure from the patient’s entrance to the Radiology department to the final report arriving on the patient’s chart or in the referring physician’s office; the patient reports to the Radiology reception area, is checked-in and waits for the procedure to be performed. A technologist comes for the child and proceeds to perform or assist in the procedure, whichever is appropriate. Following the procedure, and after the films are approved, the child and parent are released from the department. When the film is processed and assembled with its jacket and all prior films, this is placed on a view box in the radiologists’ reading room where they read the film and dictate the report. The dictation is then placed for transcription in the secretary’s office in the radiology department. The secretaries transcribe the reports in the order they are dictated. Following transcription, the reports are given back to the dictating radiologist to check and sign. When they are signed, they are forwarded to the film library where they are disassembled and copies sent to the file with the film, to the patient’s chart and to the referring physician as well as any additional copies which may need to be sent to consultants.
KeywordsRadiology Department Gastric Outlet Obstruction Patient Schedule Childrens Hospital Emergency Room Patient
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