Update on establishing and managing an overnight emergency radiology division
Emerg Radiol . 2021 Apr 21;1-9. doi: 10.1007/s10140-021-01935-0. Online ahead of print.
Meir H Scheinfeld, R Joshua Dym
Emergency department (ED) radiology divisions that serve to provide overnight attending coverage have become an increasingly common feature of radiology departments. The purpose of this article is to review the common ED radiology coverage models, describe desirable traits of emergency radiologists, and discuss workflow in the ED radiology setting. ED radiologists may be trained as ED radiologists or may develop the necessary skills and adopt the subspecialty. Choosing radiologists with the correct traits such as being a "night owl" and remaining calm under pressure and implementing an acceptable work schedule such as shift length of 9-10 h and a "one week on, two weeks off" schedule contribute to sustainability of the position. Strategies to address the unique stressors and workflow challenges of overnight emergency radiology coverage are also presented. Workflow facilitators including trainees, PAs, radiology assistants, and clerks all have roles to play in managing high case volumes and in making sure that the service is well staffed. Usage of artificial intelligence software is the latest technique to streamline workflow by identifying cases which should be prioritized on a busy worklist. Implementing such strategies will maintain quality of care for patients regardless of time of day as well as sustainability and quality of life for overnight emergency radiologists.
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