3-24. DEPARTMENTAL ANALYSES
a. General. One of the great advantages of a computer system is its versatility.
While it keeps track of patient-specific information, it is also sorting data in other ways
that are useful to management for planning and assessment purposes. It keeps track of
the number of patients that came through the hospital, the number of sinus and other
exams performed. It also codes this information by physician, and referring department,
that is, Eye, Nose, & Throat (ENT). At the end of the year, the department manager has
solid statistical information on what has been done by whom.
b. Workload Reports. The chief technologist and the radiologist generate
information needed by radiology administrators in compiling workload reports, to include
dates, exposure room, and frequency of exams requested. It is expected that there will
be higher traffic at certain periods. During pollen season, for example, there will be a
higher incidence of allergy testing. Data on frequency of exams will be provided by
routine, e.g., chest radiography, and by the physician and clinic.
c. Management Tool.
(1) Manpower and equipment. The reports generated by the medical
information system can provide justification for additional manpower and equipment.
For example, a statistical report, indicating 30 percent more patients and only 10% more
employees, may provide the basis for hiring additional technologists.
(2) Problem areas. The reports can also pinpoint problem areas. Upon
analysis, a reported increase in certain radiographic views may prove totally justified or
may be attributable to a new and overzealous physician, requesting more sinus films
than warranted. Once the problem has been revealed, the radiologist can tactfully
suggest that not every patient with a headache needs a set of sinus films.
(3) Repeat rates. Repeat rates are reported by routine, technologist, and
room. Again, gathering the information in these three different ways helps to pinpoint
the source of the problem. For instance, a high repeat rate for a specific room may
suggest either a need to recalibrate the x-ray machine or a need for retraining. If the
repeat rate is limited to only certain technicians using that room, then it may be a
training problem. Thus, repeat rate analysis is useful in identifying training needs. This
type of analysis may also reveal other types of problems, such as, a conflict of interest,
a highly controversial and thorny problem. A conflict of interest may exist when
physicians with a financial interest in a particular radiographic clinic send patients there
for an excessive number of radiograms. Repeat rate analysis will reveal the high
number of radiograms. Further investigation will identify the conflict of interest. Repeat
rate analysis can also identify over consumption of such items as contrast media or
barium sulfates. Therefore, the report can serve as a tool in streamlining costs and