Addonisio G et himself. Using process improvement methodology to limit radiologists pain in the ass when patient’s cell phone rings during ultrasound scan. RadioStupids 2022; 23: 1999-2022.
Introduction. One of the major challenges in the current health care environment is to limit the phone calls received by the patient, on his mobile number, while he is performing an ultrasound examination. In particular, the arrival of a phone call has a substantial effect on the radiologists pain in the ass, determines the lengthening of the examination time and increase the risk of error. This is equally true for the radiologist in the emergency room, where the time available for the exam is reduced.
Materials, methods and results. At our institution, an analysis of the data relating to the phone calls received by patients during the ultrasound examination, in the years 2015-2021, has shown that every 10 patients, 9,99 leave the mobile phone on, in the dressing room, before accessing the ultrasound room. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that 7.87 out of 10 patients had their cell phone ringing during the ultrasound scan (average delay time from the start of the exam: 2,56 minutes).
Discussion. From the analysis of these data, a project was developed to limit the radiologists pain in the ass when the patient’s cell phone ring. The following options were considered: a) handing over the mobile phone at the entrance to the ultrasound room and locking it in a shielded and sound-absorbing locker; b) switching off the cell phone by the patient before taking a seat on the ultrasound table; c) suspension of the examination at the first ring of the mobile phone and forced removal of the patient from the ultrasound room, with loss of reservation; d) fine the patient for each call, to be defined on the basis of a specially prepared table.
Conclusions. Process improvement projects require regular periodic reevaluations to assess the need for additional interventions, and our project is no exception. We have not established a formal plan for support during this project. This probably contributed to the lack of comprehensive support from strategic management and is considered a lesson for future projects. Additional limitations of this design include the potential variance in how healthcare providers manage patient access to the ultrasound room. We continue to evaluate opportunities for further improvement for the benefit of our radiologists.