October 30, 2017 --
To reduce the number of intradepartmental phone calls from technologists to radiologists requesting protocolling of imaging orders, presenter and senior study author Dr. Tobias Heye and first author Dr. Philipp Brantner of the University Hospital of Basel developed a web-based system that replaces these calls with a simple light signal that is color-coded based on urgency. This was accomplished with a Java-based server application, which addresses microcontrollers that control LED strips in each reading room. The system also tracks reaction time by radiologists, lets radiologists acknowledge the light signal on a website, and gives CT/MRI technologists an overview of open messages.
The initial implementation phase was quite successful and the system was well-received, especially by technologists because it freed them from having to make many phone calls, Heye said.
To make the protocolling process a bit more fun for the radiologists, the team incorporated a gamification achievement system, such as those found in modern computer games or fitness trackers. Achievements such as "fastest confirmation of the day" and "longest confirmation chain" are collected and presented on a high-score table. All radiology department subdivisions (i.e., abdominal, chest, musculoskeletal, and neuro sections) can then engage in a friendly competition for these achievements, Heye said.
This achievement system further improved satisfaction for all parties. In addition, "the overall scheduling time, of which the protocolling time is just one element, was considerably reduced," he said.
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