UC Health Radiology has launched a 24/7, physician-covered radiology service at University Hospital, adding a total of four radiologists to staff the new program. These radiologists, along with existing faculty, will provide in-house coverage in evening (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and nighttime (8 p.m. to 8 a.m.) shifts.
The staff expansion allows the department to provide 24/7, one-hour turnaround time for all imaging exams ordered from the emergency room, intensive care units and operating rooms. The overnight service officially launched in July.
"For many years radiology residents provided preliminary reports on exams performed between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. At 7 a.m., attending radiologists reviewed and signed off on final findings,” explains Jannette Collins
, MD, chair of radiology at the UC College of Medicine. "Starting in August 2011 the department began providing in-house coverage with a board-certified radiologist Monday through Friday until 11 p.m., with residents providing preliminary reports after that. Now we have 24/7, in-hospital radiology coverage by board-certified radiologists so there is never a delay in providing final radiology reports.”
The impetus for this change was W. Brian Gibler
, MD, president and chief executive officer of University Hospital and UC Health emergency medicine physician. A high-volume emergency room and robust intensive care program necessitated a quick turnaround on emergency imaging tests. He and Collins worked together to make the change possible.
"This will result in a higher standard of care for our patients through improved communication with emergency physicians,” says Collins. "In many respects it will enable us to provide a better training experience for our residents. Radiologists now provide nearly instantaneous feedback to residents throughout the day and night.”
As part of this change, the radiology department added a new section of emergency radiology
(ER) and a corresponding fellowship. The first fellow enrollee will begin July 2013.
, MD, is the chief of the new ER section and Stephanie Horton
, DO, is the ER fellowship program director. Carl Flink
, MD is the third member of the ER section. Eric England, MD, splits his time working daytime hours and providing evening coverage until 9 p.m. Other body imaging and neuroradiology faculty members also rotate through the evening shift, staying in-house until 9 p.m.