Getting it Right: UC Radiology partners with GE Healthcare to reimagine work


By Dama Ewbank

Whether they realize it or not, nearly every patient who comes to the hospital will receive radiology services. From diagnostic imaging to interventional procedures that deliver targeted treatment, radiology is part of almost everyone’s hospital visit.

Because of its importance in the care continuum, radiology can also have a real impact not only on the patient experience, but also on the experience of colleagues across the system.

That’s why, say department leaders, it’s important that at every touchpoint— internal and external, and from patient care, to scheduling, to research, to billing—the radiology team is ready to deliver the highest level of service.

Many within radiology have been working to drive pockets of measurable improvement, but a commitment to getting this right across the entire department hit a crescendo in late

July when dozens of team members from across the system—including physicians, researchers, technologists and business and support staff— gathered for an intensive three-day workshop facilitated by the GE Health- care Global Design Group’s Menlo team.

Their goal: together as a team, re- envision the radiology department.

“As UC Health is working to transform as a system, we realized how important it is for us to work creatively as a team to improve the overall experience radiology offers for patients, referring

physicians and staff,” said Mary Mahoney, MD, chief of imaging services for UC Health and Benjamin Felson Endowed Chair & Professor of Radiology at UC.

The three-day radiology workshop was based on design thinking, an innovative, human-centered, problem- solving approach to tackle complex challenges, said Achala Vagal, MD, vice chair of research within the radiology department.

“The underlying concept in a design thinking mindset is empathy towards the stakeholders, which, for radiology, includes both patients and referring clinicians,” Vagal added.

Panels of referring physicians from across UC Health attended the session to offer candid feedback on their interactions with the radiology department. In addition, patients delivered testimonials about their own experiences. Workshop attendees then split up on day one and traveled to GE Global Operations, Embers restaurant and UC Health locations within UC Athletics and in West Chester to benchmark customer experiences.

From these site visits and conversations, the radiology team developed a list of opportunities—their “Wouldn’t It Be Nice If” statements—to guide their future planning. On day two, team members chose their top focus area and worked in sub-teams to imagine what their successful future would look like.

What kicked off on day one with a paper-airplane-building exercise to drive home a lesson of innovation, iteration and trial and error, culminated on day three with solid next steps on a path toward improved communication, efficiency and overall performance.

They’re now actively working to put teams behind identified focus projects and drive forward their departmental transformation.

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