The radiologist's workflow environment: evaluation of disruptors and potential implications

J Am Coll Radiol. 2014 Jun;11(6):589-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2013.12.026. Epub 2014 Apr 26.


Workflow interruptions in the health care delivery environment are a major contributor to medical errors and have been extensively studied within numerous hospital settings, including the nursing environment and the operating room, along with their effects on physician workflow. Less understood, though, is the role of interruptions in other highly specialized clinical domains and subspecialty services, such as diagnostic radiology. The workflow of the on-call radiologist, in particular, is especially susceptible to disruption by telephone calls and other modes of physician-to-physician communication. Herein, the authors describe their initial efforts to quantify the degree of interruption experienced by on-call radiologists and examine its potential implications in patient safety and overall clinical care.

Keywords: Patient safety; interruptions; quality assurance; workplace disruptions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Diagnostic Errors / prevention & control*
  • Diagnostic Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Efficiency, Organizational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Safety / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiology / organization & administration*
  • Workflow*
  • Workplace / organization & administration