It’s a catch-22, isn’t it? You’re looking for ways to be more productive and streamline your radiology practice, but you don’t have the time to read a long list of ideas on how to get there. The good news? You can take your practice to the next level by making small changes to the things that you’re already doing.

We’ve kept it short and sweet with four quick ways you can boost productivity in your practice:

1. Set boundaries and stick to process

Interruptions can derail the efficacy of your workday. If you allow these interruptions, not only are you less focused, but you may find that you’re always playing catch-up at the end of your day. Whether these interruptions are self-inflicted (too much time spent on email) or from outsiders (staff questions, referring physician phone calls), establishing—and communicating—boundaries and expectations will prove positive. Consider:

  • Setting specific times throughout the day to check and respond to emails
  • Directing your staff to hold phone calls or take messages during specific times of day where you have dedicated yourself to reading scans
  • Delegating tasks that others on your team can easily take on when your workload is heavy

2. Create systems for results

Do you communicate results to patients via telephone, online portals, in-person or a combination of all of these methods? If you don’t have a process in place already, consider establishing a results communication process based on severity of cases. For instance, communicating by telephone to those who are in critical need may expedite the treatment process. Letting your team weigh in on communication preferences can also alleviate confusion and keep everyone on the same page based on case load, case readings or physician preferences.

 3. Relax your brain

Your job requires your brain to always be on—thinking, assessing, making scientific opinions. Though it may not always be physically taxing, it’s mentally taxing.

Breaks are important. Just as you set your workflow process, schedule mental breaks throughout the day. As healthcare professionals, we know that movement aids in our physical and mental well-being. You will be better for it if you schedule 5 to 15-minute breaks throughout your day. Walk around, rest your eyes, meditate. Your brain needs time to rest, regroup and refresh to continue absorbing new information.

4. Implement technology to assist in next-level turnaround

Turnaround time is crucial for radiologists. Patients who come to you with trepidation in what their results may be, are looking to you to make quick (and accurate) assessments of their scans; to give them answers that will help them navigate next steps. By implementing technology that works with you to make an accurate diagnosis faster than you may be able to do on your own, you have the ability to speed up your reading process and, in turn, provide quick communication and diagnosis to your patients. The use of AI in mammography, for example, is a great way to receive side-by-side support of these readings without needing to hire additional staff or bring in other physicians for second opinions.

In the end, taking time to assess what is—and isn’t—working can do wonders for the productivity in your radiology practice. Be honest with your processes, set boundaries, invest in technology to make your job easier, and communicate with your team. Doing so will alleviate some of the stress you may feel throughout the day and bring your radiology practice to the next level.