Productivity evaluation of radiologists interpreting computed tomography scans using statistical process control charts
Guilherme Brittes Benitez, Flavio S. Fogliatto, Carlo Sasso Faccin, Jose Miguel Dorac, Felipe Soares Torres
Radiology service managers search for efficient ways to monitor productivity and improve capacity. One way to assess radiologists' productivity is by measuring their time to complete reports. Radiology reporting times (RRTs) may be monitored using statistical tools, such as process control charts (CCs). This study was carried out in the radiology sector of a University-based general hospital with 850 inward beds. Productivity was monitored using CCs. The selected control variable was RRTs, and process capability was calculated using Cp and Cpk indices. Only chest computed tomography scans were analyzed, totaling 2862 exams over a 6-month period. Our objective was to develop a simple tool to monitor radiologist performance, as given by RRT, over time. For that, we constructed CCs using data from 10 radiologists to monitor the stability of their RRTs. Only 3 radiologists presented mean times below the group average; 6 displayed a trend in RRTs that characterized performance improvement, while 4 displayed the opposite trend. Capability measures for the group indicated a process that is not capable. We demonstrate that CCs may be a useful tool for monitoring radiologists' performances in CT scans interpretation. Results demonstrated that in the individual CT reporting process, common cause variability is the type of variability most frequently observed, being most likely related to natural variations in features of the images analyzed. Lastly, CCs may also assist in decision making in the sector, such as establishing minimum productivity goals based on historical performance.
Read Full Article Here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinimag.2021.02.018