Interventional Radiology teams often run into some difficulties specific to their area. While many of these departments use some kind of scheduling program, not all of them are quite as helpful as they could be at solving these. After studying some IR teams extensively, we’ve come up with the three most common issues:
Scheduled Patients vs Add-Ons
One of the biggest struggles in an IR department is efficiently juggling patients who are added in last minute in addition to the scheduled patients. This requires an effective scheduler and a realistic idea of how many patients can be seen based on available resources. This is one of the easiest features to find in scheduling software, though many do not have a queue to put additional patients in the order they arrive without putting them on the schedule itself.
Managing Tasks That Need to Be Done For Each Patient
Another challenge for IR teams is making sure that all of the tasks associated with each patient are complete when they come in. When a patient needs to have labs done or consent forms completed before a procedure, it can cause serious delays or schedule reshuffling if those items are not done. Implementing a system that allows users to track tasks for each patient can be extremely beneficial and prevents delays, but can also prove difficult to find in a basic scheduling program.
Lastly, many IR departments struggle to effectively manage their rooms and resources. Because some people are assigned to a patient and others are assigned to a room, those who manage the schedule can have a difficult time coordinating everything in one program. One major way that a scheduling program can address this is to allow users to see multiple resources views at the same time. However, this feature can also be difficult to find in a form that is sophisticated enough for most IR departments.
So how can we handle those? The obvious answer is to use a system that helps your team keep track of these trouble areas. Some of the available solutions solve more issues than others – really searching for software that allows extensive resource allocation and tracking is worth the effort.