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Efficacy, Education, Administration, Informatics

E1020. Time Dedicated to Noninterpretative Patient Care Activities by Breast Imagers at an Academic Center

Banks J1,2,  Net J1,2,  Klevos G1,2,  Arheart K1,  Collado-Mesa F.1,2 1. University of Miami, Miami, FL; 2. Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL

Address correspondence to J. Banks (jsbanks3@gmail.com)

Objective: Healthcare reform in the United States has generated a paradigm shift in the practice of radiology which is aimed at increasing the degree of patient-centered care. This emphasis has in part prompted the creation of programs and initiatives such as the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Imaging 3.0 and the Radiological Society of North America’s Radiology Cares. We conducted a prospective observational study to quantify the time breast imagers at our ACR-accredited Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, dedicate to value-adding, noninterpretative activities at an academic cancer center.

Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted with three fellowship-trained dedicated breast imaging radiologists, having 4, 6, and 7 years of experience. A list of noninterpretative patient care activities was drafted by consensus of all breast imagers. During a period of 20 consecutive workdays, each breast imager maintained a log of each activity in real time, rounded to the nearest minute. A generalized linear model was used to perform a one-way ANOVA with time in minutes as the outcome and groups defined by activity, person, day of week, and physician role. An alpha level of 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance. SAS software (version 9.3, SAS Institute) was used for all analyses.

Results: The average daily time each breast imager dedicated to noninterpretative patient care activities was 92.1 minutes (range, 56.4–132.2). Time dedicated to these activities significantly differed among radiologists (p < 0.001) and correlated with their assigned daily role (p < 0.001) but was independent of the breast imagers’ years of experience. The daily role that required the most time was when the radiologist was assigned to diagnostic breast imaging studies, most commonly for activities such as interactions with patients or their relatives or their referring physicians. The specific activity that required the most time was preparing for and participating in tumor board.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that breast imagers at our academic cancer center dedicate a significant amount of time to noninterpretive patient care activities, adding value to the patient experience across the continuity of care. We recommend similar studies be conducted at other institutions across different breast imaging and care settings.