The impact of tech aides in radiology.
As the staffing shortage continues to impact radiology departments and outpatient imaging centers, managers look for ways to solve staffing issues internally. Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network investigated the feasibility of adding a position of radiology tech aide. This proposal was driven by a desire to improve retention of staff, improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover. A 6-month pilot program was conducted at the network's highest-volume facility. One tech aide underwent extensive training and eventually began performing some of the tasks identified in the analysis. Each area within radiology worked with an intern to identify each step in its work process. Each step identified led to the question, "What happens if?" The workflow process provided a detailed look a the number of steps required for a technologist to perform a study from start to finish. In May 2002, the administrator submitted a project proposal to management engineering to evaluate radiologic technologists' workloads and identify tasks that could be performed by a tech aide. Activity-Based Management (ABM)--a process that emphasizes activities over resources--was utilized to study work activities. The analysis identified the appropriate tasks and revealed that 5 FTEs were needed to assist the technologists in all areas of radiology. A workflow was completed for each area within radiology. Some areas identified bottlenecks, which caused delays in the process and some redundant work for the staff. Data were presented to the network administration. Staffing realities, labor pool availability within the existing network staff, and detailed task identifications also were provided. A total of 5 FTE tech aides were approved. The final program included in-depth tech-aide training; effective and open communication between management and technologists; and a collaborative, education-oriented relationship between technologists and tech aides.
Published In/Presented At
Sferrella SM, Story CP. The impact of tech aides in radiology. Radiol Manage. 2004 Mar-Apr;26(2):22-30.
Diagnosis | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Radiology
Department of Medicine