The Current State of Radiology Call Assistant Triage Programs Among US Radiology Residency Programs

Jennifer Shaffer Ngo, Charles M. Maxfield, Gary R. Schooler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale and Objectives: Given increasing volume and workflow interruptions in radiology, we sought to identify and characterize radiology call assistant triage (RCAT) programs among US radiology residency programs. Materials and Methods: A survey was created using Qualtrics survey software and emailed to all members of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology listserv. A total of 296 active members belong to this listserv, including program directors and assistant program directors. The survey included questions about the existence and specifics of a call triage assistant program. Results: Data were obtained from 88 active members of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology (30% response rate). Of those, 20 programs (23%) have an RCAT program. Triage assistant staffing includes nonmedical or clerical staff (60%), medical students (30%), first-year radiology residents (5%), and technologists (5%). All respondents with RCAT programs report satisfaction with their program and plan to continue. A significant majority (75%) have no plans to change, whereas the remaining 25% are considering program expansion and pay increases. Among residency programs without RCAT programs, none reported termination of their triage program. The most common reasons for not having triage assistants include cost, lack of awareness, differing opinions on utility, and the presence of 24/7 attending coverage. Conclusion: Twenty US radiology residency programs report having an RCAT program. All report satisfaction with their program despite different staffing models. RCAT programs may represent an effective measure in limiting interruptions and potentially decreasing interpretative errors made by residents on call.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic radiology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • assistant
  • call
  • residency
  • Triage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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