Integration of a Community Radiology Division into a Subspecialty-Focused Academic Radiology Department
Jessie L Chai, Giles W Boland, William Simmons, Laila Cochon, Kathryn Nardozza, Patrick J Curley, Ramin Khorasani
Curr Probl Diagn Radiol . 2022 Mar-Apr;51(2):171-175. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2021.03.003. Epub 2021 Mar 17.
Introduction: Assimilate a general radiology division into a subspecialty-focused radiology department at an academic medical center.
Methods: This Institutional Review Board-approved quality improvement initiative was performed at an academic medical centers' subspecialty-focused academic radiology department, aiming to assimilate a general radiology division providing interpretive services for a distributed set of community ambulatory practices. An Oversight Committee charged by the department chair created a charter with unambiguous goal, timelines, clear decision-making, and conflict resolution processes. The Committee assessed the resources and clinical capabilities of the general radiologists, and the anticipated shift in exam volume from the community into subspecialty divisions. Primary outcome, percentage of targeted organ systems-specific interpretations by general radiologists based on assigned subspecialty division, and secondary outcome of report turnaround time (TAT) for all ambulatory exams, were compared before and after sub-specialization.
Results: Among 10 general radiologists, 4.5 were assigned to subspecialty divisions; 5.5 continued to cover an independent general radiology practice in a for-profit delivery network. In the 5 months' post-transition, a total 86.6% (11,668/13,477) of reports by the integrated general radiologists were within designated subspecialty divisions vs 23.9% (2,586/10,829) pre-transition (P < 0.01). There was no change in ambulatory radiology report TAT for non-urgent care center (UCC) or UCC exams pre- vs post-integration.
Discussion: A quality improvement initiative with unambiguous decision-making and conflict resolution processes incorporated a general radiology practice (radiologists and exams) into a subspecialty-focused academic radiology practice without negatively impacting TAT metrics. Future studies would be needed to assess impact on quality of interpretations.
Read Full Article Here: https://doi.org/10.1067/j.cpradiol.2021.03.003