Quantifying disruption of workflow by phone calls to the neuroradiology reading room

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Introduction The purpose of this study was to understand the source and the reason for the phone calls to our neuroradiology suit and to quantify the size of the problem in terms of duration of individual and aggregated calls. Materials and methods Observation of the neuroradiology reading room for the entire duration of the working hours over three non-consecutive days was performed, and included telephone calls start time, end time and calls duration for incoming telephone calls. After each phone call the recipients were queried on the details of the phone call; the origin of the call, the reason for the call and the response. Results The average total number of minutes (min) spent on the phone each day was 64 min per working day with a total of 39 phone calls per day and 4.4 per hour on average. The trainees answered 71% of the phone calls with additional intervention by attending in 13% of phone calls. The most common source of phone calls was from either the MRI/CT technicians (48%), followed by providers (20%) and returning pages (18%). Conclusion Cumulative time spent on the phone by neuroradiologists in the reading room ended up in more than an hour per working day, while trainees were taking the majority of phone calls. Most phone calls originated from technicians, hence, requiring specific solutions to mitigate this kind of interruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000442
JournalBMJ Open Quality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management


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