The Reading Room Coordinator: Reducing Radiologist Burnout in the Digital Age.
J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Jan;15(1 Pt A):65-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2017.07.013. Epub 2017 Sep 9. Rosenkrantz AB1, Kang SK2, Rybak L2, Alexa D2, Recht MP2.
Burnout has become a critical issue for radiologists. National surveys demonstrate that burnout among radiologists is increasing and that radiologists currently report rates of burnout and career dissatisfaction that are among the highest of any medical specialty . Burnout negatively impacts not only professionalism and productivity but also patient care. A variety of factors contributing to burnout have been described, including inadequate staffing, prolonged stress, an inadequate sense of control, isolation from colleagues, and a lack of lifestyle balance . Recognizing and addressing such factors are important steps in reducing radiologist burnout.
An additional factor that may be increasingly contributing to radiologist burnout is workplace inefficiency . Radiologists practice in busy environments, with ever-increasing clinical volumes, as well as pressures to perform a growing array of noninterpretive, value-added activities such as consultations or provider-driven customized reporting. Moreover, as a result of the national trend toward health care system integration and consolidation , radiologists are finding themselves in larger practices and potentially more likely to be geographically remote from their colleagues and referring physicians. Enlisting ancillary personnel to assist radiologists in phone calls and other administrative tasks may provide the kind of support needed to address such issues. In this article, we describe the implementation of a comprehensive radiologist “reading room coordinator” service throughout our enterprise to improve efficiencies, extend radiologists’ presence in patient care, and enhance radiologists’ day-to-day satisfaction.